Hlinka-Gretzky Cup Roundup: Blowouts Highlight Second Day

A pair of 2023 NHL draft prospects lead the tournament in scoring, while Slovakia becomes the first team to hit double digits in a victory. All that and more, including Sweden's comeback victory over the United States.
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Russia Crushes Switzerland 9-2

It took over 21 minutes for the first goal to be scored, but once it was, Russia couldn't stop in a 9-2 victory over Switzerland.

The big guns came to play for Russia, with Matvei Michkov scoring two goals and an assist while Ivan Miroshnichenko had a goal and three helpers himself. The pair opened with a goal at 1:44 in the second, with Michkov scoring off of Miroshnichenko's cross-ice feed for the 1-0 goal.

Miroshnichenko assisted on goals from Semyon Sinyatkin and Ruslan Gazizov before the second hit the halfway point and scored his own goal at 1:43 to make it 7-0. Kirill Kudryavtsev, Alexander Perevalov and Artyom Barabosha also scored in the second period, while Michkov and Perevalov both added second markers.

Sweden Comes Back from Early Deficit to Beat USA

The Hlinka-Gretzky Cup has been a complete disaster for USA, losing to Slovakia on Day 1 and blowing a 3-1 lead to Sweden on Tuesday in a 5-3 loss. 

The game didn't start that bad for the Americans. Gavin Hayes made it 1-0 at 3:09 after Brennan Ali stole the puck on a turnover and got it to Hayes. Johan Aegerter scored a short-handed goal at 7:11 to make it 2-0, but Liam Ohgren answered back with a marker at 13:14 to cut the lead to one. Cole Knuble, son of former NHLer Mike, restored USA's two-goal lead heading into the first intermission.

But that's where everything went downhill. Sweden took full control after that. Fabian Wagner and Jonathan Lekkerimaki scored in the second to tie the game up and Matthias Havelid scored at 52:00 to give Sweden its first lead of the game. USA started to get desperate, but Elias Pettersson – no, not the Vancouver Canuck – finished the game at 5-3.

Czech Republic Finland

In a game that required extra time for the first time this week, Finland has saved its tournament with a 4-3 overtime victory against the Czech Republic.

Aleksanteri Kaskimaki got the fun started for the Finns, grabbing Jani Nyman's rebound to make it 1-0 at 25:18. But Simon Slavicek would tie things up on the man advantage with under two minutes remaining in the opening period, putting the two teams in a deadlock heading into the final stanza.

That's where it really started to get good.  Nyman scored one of his own, finishing off a passing play from Topi Ronni to make it 2-1. The Czechs, though, took advantage of defensive miscues by the Czechs and grabbed goals from Dominik Rymon and Eduard Sale a minute apart to give themselves their first lead of the game. The Czechs looked destined to hold on until Kaskimaki scored another goal to force an extra five minutes of play. 

Nothing was sorted in overtime, but Joakim Kemell and Otto Salin each scored in the shootout to finish the game with a 4-3 victory – allowing Finland to avoid an early elimination. They'll still need to win against Switzerland, a team without a win heading into the final day of round-robin play.

Slovakia's Dream Start Continues

Slovakia's U-18 team is considered one of the best the country has ever had, and after beating USA on Monday, the tournament hosts continued with a huge 12-2 victory over Germany.

The team's star power came to play. Top 2021 draft prospects Juraj Slafkovsky and Simon Nemec had four and three points respectively, Ondrej Molnar had a goal and three assists and 2023 draft prospect Dalibor Dvorsky expanded his tournament points lead to nine points after a three-goal, three-assist evening.

Adam Sykora, Alex Ciernik and Filip Mesar were the team's other goal-scorers.

Despite the loss, Germany scored the first goal of the game, with Rik Gaidel scoring at 2:44. Matthias Pischoff, who scored for Germany against Sweden, scored in the third period.

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Three Stars

1. Ivan Miroshnichenko, F (RUS): Michkov was No. 1 yesterday and now his good buddy takes the top spot today. Magic seemed to happen every time he touched the puck.

2. Dalibor Dvorsky, F (SVK): After a hat-trick in Game 1, Dvorsky got his second hatty of the tournament and added three assists to boot. 

3. Simon Nemec, D (SVK): Four assists for Nemec, but he truly seemed to make everyone around him better and had no issues finding passing lanes.

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August 4 Schedule

9:30 AM ET: Finland vs. Switzerland   
9:30 AM ET: USA vs. Germany
1:00 PM ET: Czech Republic vs. Russia
1:00 PM ET: Slovakia vs. Sweden

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