2014 World Junior Championship Update
A look at how Avs prospects Chris Bigras and Will Butcher are doing in Sweden
The Colorado Avalanche had two players that participated at this year's World Junior Championship in Malmo, Sweden. Defenseman Chris Bigras played for Canada while fellow blue liner Will Butcher was on the United States' roster. Below is a game-by-game look at how each player and their respective teams did at the 2014 tournament.
Bronze Medal Game
Sunday, January 5, 2014
Russia (2) vs. Canada (1)
Russia scored twice in the first period and held off a late Canada run to win 2-1 and earn the bronze medal at the 2014 IIHF World Junior Championship.
Team Canada scored at 7:10 of the third period to get to within one tally, but that was as close as it would get to tie the game.
In the Gold Medal Game, Finland defeated host Sweden 3-2 in overtime to capture the championship.
Saturday, January 4, 2014
Finland (5) vs. Canada (1)
Finland scored the first two goals and never trailed as it defeated Avalanche prospect Chris Bigras and Canada 5-1 in the semifinals.
Canada got to within one goal at 11:24 of the second period, but the Finns extended their lead back to two goals before the period ended. Finland scored on a penalty shot and in an empty net in the final 3:12 of the third period.
Team Canada will play Russia in the Bronze Medal Game on Sunday, while Finland will face Sweden for the gold medal later in the day.
Thursday, January 2, 2014
Canada (4) vs. Switzerland (1)
Team Canada scored twice in the third period to secure a 4-1 victory over Switzerland in the quarterfinals. Canada remains a perfect 20-0 against the Swiss all-time in under-20 competition.
The Canadians had a 2-0 lead in the second period, but the Swiss scored with one second left in the middle frame to cut their deficit to one entering the final period. Canada pulled away for the win in the third with two more goals.
Avs prospect Chris Bigras and Canada will play Finland in the semifinals on Saturday.
Russia (5) vs. United States (3)
Russia scored two 5-on-3 goals in the second period to take the lead, and the United States wasn't able to come back as it fell 5-3 in the quarterfinals. The Americans, the defending champions of the tournament, were eliminated with the loss.
Team USA led 3-2 after the first period before the Russians scored twice midway through the second stanza. Russia scored an empty-net goal with 28 seconds left in the third.
Will Butcher had two shots on goal and was called for a holding penalty late in the first period. He finished the tournament with two goals, three assists, and eight shots in five games.
Russia will face Sweden in the semifinals on Saturday.
Tuesday, December 31, 2013
Canada (3) vs. United States (2)
The United States got to within one goal with 2:45 left in regulation but couldn't find the equalizer as Canada took a 3-2 win in the final game of the preliminary round.
With the victory, Canada wins Group A while USA finished second. Team Canada and Avs prospect Chris Bigras will play Switzerland in the quarterfinals on Thursday while Will Butcher and USA will face Russia.
The Americans took a 1-0 lead 3:39 into the second period, but the Canadians scored three consecutive goals, including twice in 2:19 in the third, to grab a two-goal advantage.
Butcher assisted on Team USA's late third-period tally. He had points in three of the U.S.'s four preliminary games and has five points (two goals, three assists) in the tournament, second most among defensemen on the squad.
Monday, December 30, 2013
Canada (5) vs. Slovakia (3)
Canada scored four unanswered goals to erase a two-goal deficit and defeat Slovakia 5-3.
Team Slovakia led 3-1 with 7:27 left in the second period before Canada went on its run. The Canadians scored with three minutes left in the middle stanza to get to within one goal before scoring three times in a 4:38 span in the third period to solidify the victory.
Canada will face the United States in its final game of the preliminary round on New Year's Eve.
Avalanche prospects Chris Bigras of Canada and Will Butcher of USA will face each other in the game with prime playoff seeding on the line. The winner of the contest will win Group A and play the fourth place team of Group B in the quarterfinals.
Sunday, December 29, 2013
United States (8) vs. Germany (0)
The United States scored four times in the second period and tallied six power play goals in its 8-0 win over Germany.
The Americans had a 53-15 shot advantage over the Germans, who only dressed 17 skaters because three of their players were injured.
Despite being shorthanded on its bench, Team Germany kept the game close in the first period and only trailed 2-0. However, USA broke the contest open in the middle frame with four goals and added two more in the first four minutes of the third period.
Will Butcher scored his second goal of the tournament on the power play at 2:21 of the second period to give the United States a 3-0 lead. The defenseman had three shots and won the only faceoff he took.
"The game went really well and we executed what we wanted to do," Butcher told NHL.com after the game. "We're working on being relentless; USA teams play a speed game in all zones."
Saturday, December 28, 2013
Czech Republic (5) vs. Canada (4) - Shootout
Canada erased one-goal deficits three times in the third period but couldn't overcome the Czech Republic as it fell 5-4 in a shootout.
The Czechs led 2-1 after 40 minutes before a wild third period. The Canadians scored 24 seconds into the stanza and tied the game two more times after the Czech Republic took leads. At one point, three goals were scored in 1:52.
After a scoreless five-minute overtime, the game went to a best-of-three shootout where the Czechs won 2-1.
Chris Bigras had several good scoring chances for Canada but couldn't find the back of the net. He had three shots on goal and finished with a plus-1 rating.
United States (6) vs. Slovakia (3)
The Americans held off a Slovakia comeback with three third-period goals and stayed perfect at the world juniors with a 6-3 victory.
The United States took a 3-0 lead early in the second period, but the Slovakians scored twice in less than two minutes to cut its deficit to one goal entering the third. That would be as close as Slovakia would get before Team USA pulled away in the final frame.
Will Butcher had two assists against Slovakia and is tied for the USA scoring lead at the tournament with three points.
Thursday, December 26, 2013
United States (5) vs. Czech Republic (1)
In its defense of its 2013 IIHF World Junior Championship, the United States began the 2014 tournament where it left off a year ago.
Team USA played a solid opening game and defeated the Czech Republic 5-1 with five different players scoring.
Will Butcher scored the Americans' second goal at 2:02 of the first period after he got a cross-ice pass from Jack Eichel in the slot and fired a shot under the Czech netminder's glove. The goal ended up being the game winner.
Canada (7) vs. Germany (2)
Germany scored 1:35 into the game, but Canada scored four times in the opening period and then added three more in a 7-2 victory to open the tournament.
Chris Bigras finished the game with a plus-1 rating while being paired with Josh Morrissey on Canada's defense.