World U18s: 3 stars from Day 6
The final day of the preliminary action in the 2021 IIHF World Under-18 Hockey Championship is complete and brought just as much excitement as the first five days.
The Matvei Michkov show kicked off the day, with Russia defeating the Czech Republic fairly painlessly by a score of 11-1. The 2023-eligible Michkov led the way once again for Russia, collecting his second hat trick of the tournament and adding an assist. He wasn’t the only one impressing though, as Prokhor Poltapov put his hands on full display in this one, potting two goals and adding an assist.
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Just like they have all tournament, Danila Yurov (one goal, three assists), Nikita Chibrikov (three assists), and Fyodor Svechkov (two goals) also contributed in big ways offensively, while netminder Sergei Ivanov held his own in the net. Jakub Kos had the lone goal for Team Czech Republic.
At the same time, Sweden was facing off against the Latvians, with Sweden redeeming themselves from their two prior games with a 7-0 win. Both William Stromgren and Simon Robertsson scored two goals each and Fabian Lysell continued to impress in this tournament by adding two assists to his total. Goaltender Hugo Havelid stopped all 30 shots he faced for the shutout.
In the second pair of games, the USA took on Finland in one of the best games of the entire tournament. Down by one goal in the dying seconds of the third, Ty Gallagher potted the game-tying goal with just 3.2 seconds left to force overtime. Just 57 seconds in, Sasha Pastujov played hero for the Americans, going end-to-end, skating through hooks to pot the game-winner to win 5-4. Pastujov also picked up an assist on the opening goal of the game.
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2023-eligible Charlie Stramel also collected a goal and assist, while on the Finnish side, Samu Tuomaala and Ville Koivunen once again led the way, each adding a goal and assist to their tournament total.
In the fourth and final game of the day, Team Canada maintained their perfect record in this tournament, coming on top of Belarus 5-2. After missing the last two games for precautionary reasons, captain Shane Wright came back and potted another two goals – making that five in just two games.
With the preliminary games complete, the quarterfinals are set for Monday as follows:
- Russia vs. Belarus – 1:30 PM EST
- Canada vs. Czech Republic – 4:00 PM EST
- Finland vs. Switzerland – 6:30 PM EST
- Sweden vs. USA – 9:00 PM EST
Here are FCHockey’s Three Stars of the Day, presented by SummerSkates – Show Your Game.
Third star: Sasha Pastujov (USA)
While there were a handful of others that stood out in todays matchups, Pastujov’s overtime heroics earned him the third star of the day for FCHockey. On top of collecting an assist on the opening goal of the game, the USA’s top forward ended the game 57 seconds into overtime with an end-to-end rush that involved him cutting through three defenders and getting hooked twice.
FCHockey’s No. 42-ranked prospect came up clutch when he needed to, bringing his tournament total to seven points (four goals, three assists) in his four games.
Second star: Shane Wright (CAN)
Wright opened the tournament up with a bang, potting a hat trick. However, he was held out of the next two for precautionary reasons and finally returned to action tonight. And what a return it was, adding another two goals to his stat line, giving him five points (all goals) in his two games played. The Canadian captain, not eligible until the 2022 NHL Draft, looks more than ready for the elimination round.
First star: Matvei Michkov (RUS)
Again, Michkov is not eligible for the NHL Draft until 2023. And yet, he’s leading this entire tournament in goals (nine) and points (11). Michkov has a ridiculous nine goals in this tournament now, charging up the all-time list. What’s more, he’s looked so good doing it, showing off an ability to score in different ways and enormous amounts of creativity.
Potting his second hat trick of this tournament, is it really any question that he becomes our first repeat first star of the tournament?
Nikita Chibrikov (RUS), Ville Koivunen (FIN), Fabian Lysell (SWE), Prokhor Poltapov (RUS), Isak Rosen (SWE), Charlie Stramel (USA), William Stromgren (SWE), Fyodor Svechkov (RUS), Danila Yurov (RUS), Olen Zellweger (CAN)
Highlight(s) of the night
We’ve seen this toe drag in the tournament already, but now Poltapov connects it with a goal after getting around two defenders. He potted his first two goals of the tournament in this game and if they look like this, we really hope there will be more of them.
OK, we had to include this clip as well – Pastujov’s end-to-end rush in overtime to win it for the Americans. The winger was just not going to be stopped on this play.
World U18 scoring leaders
|1.||Matvei Michkov||11 (9, 2)|
|2.||Nikita Chibrikov||10 (2, 8)|
|T3.||Samu Tuomaala||9 (5, 4)|
|T3.||Ville Koivunen||9 (4, 5)|
|T3.||Danila Yurov||9 (3, 6)|
FCHockey’s 3 Stars of the Day
April 26 | Day 1: Third: Fabian Lysell (SWE), Second: Lane Hutson (USA), First: Nikita Chibrikov (RUS)
April 27 | Day 2: Third: Danila Klimovich (BLR), Second: Brandt Clarke (CAN), First: Shane Wright (CAN)
April 28 | Day 3: Third: Mason McTavish (CAN), Second: Karlis Mezsargs (LAT), First: Samu Tuomaala (FIN)
April 29 | Day 4: Third: Kaidan Mbereko (USA), Second: Fabian Lysell (SWE), First: Matvei Michkov (RUS)
April 30 | Day 5: Third: Samu Salminen (FIN), Second: Olen Zellweger (CAN), First: Francesco Pinelli (CAN)