KAMLOOPS, B.C. — With the teams from Canada and the US making final roster cuts for the week on Wednesday, all four countries got back to work in game action on Thursday. In the early matchup, Team USA took on Team Sweden, followed by Canada facing off against Finland.
In the US v SWE game, the Swedes made a quick statement when Rickard Hugg scored on a breakaway just 16 seconds into the game. He followed that with another goal just over two minutes later as he backhanded the puck past American goaltender Cayden Primeau.
After exchanging a few penalties, but with neither team finding any luck on the man advantage, the US got on the board with a goal by Jack Hughes, who received the puck from his brother Quinn Hughes, and Joel Farabee. But it didn’t take long for Sweden to restore their two-goal lead after Isac Lundestrom found mesh.
Quinn Hughes provided another helper to start the second period when he centered a pass for Jason Robertson, who then wristed the puck into the Swedish net to bring the score to 3-2. Penalties continued to pile up as emotions began to intensify between the two teams. Eventually Paul Cotter scored the tying goal to make it 3-3 before the second intermission.
The third period was relatively quiet. The US outshot Sweden 11-8 in the period, and managed to keep pace with their opponents as each team scored another goal in this frame. In the five minute three-on-three overtime, everything pointed to the game heading to a shootout, but with just over one second remaining in the extra period, Quinn Hughes deked his way through the slot, dumped the puck quickly over to Josh Norris who was waiting on the doorstep and deflected the puck into the Swedish net to win it 5-4.
CAN v FIN Game Report provided by Rick Stephens.
Team Canada fans can be excused for shaking their heads as Maxime Comtois headed to the box for a bad penalty only eight minutes into the game. Just 43 seconds later, Finland had a 1-0 lead as Sampo Ranta potted a power-play marker with assists going to Rasmus Kupari and Linus Nyman.
The opening goal of the game seemed to raise the temperature in the Sandman Arena. Twenty-seven seconds later Calen Addison and Teemu Enberg each received a two-minute minor for roughing.
Team Canada got on the board as a quick shot by Michael Rasmussen fooled Finnish goaltender Filip Lindberg. The first period ended with Canada and Finland tied at one. Shots on goal were also even at 7-7.
It was all Canada in the second period as they outshot Finland 15-4. Noah Dobson drove to the net and was well-placed to bang in a rebound giving Canada a 2-1 lead. Rasmussen and Liam Foudy picked up the assists.
Dobson’s second goal of the game on the power-play gave Canada a 3-1 at 6:54 of the third period. The Canadiens were cruising along with a comfortable lead when Ranta broke down the middle of the ice and scored his second goal of the game bringing Finland within one.
Four minutes later, Aarne Talvitie took advantage of a Canadian turnover for a shorthanded goal. The game was tied with less than eight minutes left in the third period. After 60 minutes the score was 3-3. Fans were treated to the second overtime game of the day.
In overtime, Comtois would atone for his earlier miscue, scoring the game-winner with just 26.5 seconds left in overtime. Noah Dobson and Toni Utunen were named players of the game for Canada and Finland respectively.
Flyers prospect Morgan Frost (1st round, 2017) did not play in Thursday night’s game against Finland, but Lead Correspondent Amy Johnson had an opportunity to catch up with Frost by phone after the morning skate. Listen to the full audio of her interview below, where he talks about the honor of playing for Team Canada, what he’s learning from the World Junior Showcase camp, and his thoughts on being one of Philadelphia’s top prospects.
Exclusive pre-game interview with Morgan Frost: