International Ice Hockey Federation

Preparing for U18 Worlds

Preparing for U18 Worlds

Teams used February break for last test

Published 09.02.2015 15:19 GMT+1 | Author Juraj Hudak, Martin Merk
Preparing for U18 Worlds
The Russian U18 national team players celebrate a goal at the 2014 IIHF Ice Hockey U18 World Championship. Photo: Jana Chytilova / HHOF-IIHF Images
The past weekend was a big test for many nations ahead of the 2015 IIHF Ice Hockey U18 IIHF World Championship in Switzerland.

The Five Nations Tournament in the Czech Republic started the best for the home team. The Czech U18 team won their first two games against northern teams from Finland and Sweden. It was tight games. Against Finland two goals in the last two minutes of play led to a 6-4 win and against Sweden the Czechs tied the game in the last minute. In the shootout Czech goalie Ales Stezka managed to stop all six Swedish attempts and his teammate Lukas Jasek decided the match with the winning shot in the sixth round.

After the two straight wins the Czechs started believing they could reach the first place but then they lost 3-2 in overtime to Russia and 6-2 against the United States. They eventually finished in third place behind the unbeaten Russians and the U.S.

Russia took the lead after beating the hosts. Prior to that they defeated Finland 5-3 and celebrated a 5-4 victory against the United States thanks to Mikhail Sergachyov’s overtime goal. In the last game Russia also defeated Sweden, 5-1. The Swedes claimed fourth place with the only victory coming against winless Finland, 5-3.

American forwards Matthew Tkachuk – the son of American NHL legend Keith Tkachuk – and Jack Roslovic ended up on top of the scoring race with seven points apiece while Russia’s Dmitri Sokolov was the best goal scorer with five markers. The Russians also had stellar goaltending from highly-touted Ilya Samsonov (94.19%) and Anton Krasotkin (90.57%), who had the best save percentages of the goalkeepers used in at least two games.

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Another tournament took place in Slovakia, where the home team was trying to shape its form in preparation to the U18 Worlds. The Vlado Dzurilla Tournament went well for the U18 Slovak team, as they won both games against Switzerland (5-1) and Germany (2-0) before losing to the more experienced Slovak U19 selection. Germany claimed third place on the last game after winning the neighbouring clash against Switzerland 4-1.

The last European member of U18 Worlds’ top division played in another tournament in Lillehammer, Norway. Latvia didn’t exactly show a convincing performance and finished last with three straight losses and conceding 18 goals. Belarus won the event ahead of Denmark and Norway.

Five Nations Tournament in the Czech Republic
4 Feb.: USA v Sweden 5-4 PS
4 Feb.: Czech Rep. v Finland 6-4
5 Feb.: Finland v Russia 3-5
5 Feb.: Czech Rep. v Sweden 3-2 PS
6 Feb.: Sweden v Finland 5-3
6 Feb.: Russia v USA 5-4 OT
7 Feb.: Finland v USA 1-5
7 Feb.: Czech Rep. v Russia 2-3 OT
8 Feb.: Russia v Sweden 5-1
8 Feb.: Czech Rep. v USA 2-6

Standings: 1. Russia 10, 2. USA 9, 3. Czech Rep. 6, 4. Sweden 5, 5. Finland 0

Vlado Dzurilla Tournament in Slovakia
5 Feb.: Slovakia U19 v Germany U18 12-4
5 Feb.: Slovakia U18 v Switzerland U18 5-1
6 Feb.: Slovakia U19 v Switzerland U18 6-2
6 Feb.: Slovakia U18 v Germany U18 2-0
7 Feb.: Switzerland U18 v Germany U18 1-4
7 Feb.: Slovakia U18 v Slovakia U19 0-7

Standings: 1. Slovakia U19 9, 2. Slovakia U18 6, 3. Germany U18 3, 4. Switzerland U18 0

Tournament in Norway
5 Feb.: Belarus v Norway 2-1 OT
5 Feb.: Latvia v Denmark 1-4
6 Feb.: Denmark v Belarus 4-7
6 Feb.: Norway v Latvia 5-2
7 Feb.: Belarus v Latvia 9-6
7 Feb.: Norway v Denmark 2-3

Standings: 1. Belarus 8, 2. Denmark 6, 3. Norway 4, 4. Latvia 0

Tournament in Italy
5 Feb.: Hungary v Slovenia 2-4
5 Feb.: France v Italy 2-3
6 Feb.: Slovenia v France 3-1
6 Feb.: Italy v Hungary 4-1
7 Feb.: Hungary v France 4-2
7 Feb.: Italy v Slovenia 1-5

Standings: 1. Slovenia 9, 2. Italy 6, 3. Hungary 3, 4. France 0


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