The day started off with a tight-checking, low-scoring duel between Finland and Switzerland with the Swiss pulling off the slight overtime upset, 3-2, with Attilio Biasca scoring the deciding goal just 41 seconds into the bonus frame. Lightning farmhand Niko Huuhtanen didn’t record a point.
In the second game, it appeared that Sweden may get goalied by Austrian netminder minder Thomas Pfarrmaier who made 19 saves on 21 shots, several of them of a spectacular nature. Unfortunately, the magic ran out in the second period where Sweden put up 6 more goals. They ended up with 11 on the board as they coasted to victory. Nine different players recorded goals and 8 players had multiple points on the night.
Next up it was Team USA (featuring Tampa Bay Lightning prospect Dylan Duke) against Latvia (featuring Lightning prospect Klavs Veinbergs). It was a tight game early on with Latvia matching the US goal for goal through the first two periods before the Americans put it away with 3 goals in the third. Veinbergs was held off of the scoreboard while Duke had two assists.
Team Canada had their usual prime time slot on opening night as they hosted Czechia. Things started out according to script as Shane Wright scored midway through the first period. After that, it went off the rails for the host country as Czechia scored the next three goals. Connor Bedard cut their lead to 3-2 early in the second, but the visitors struck two more times in 33 seconds to put the game out of reach.
Surely, there won’t be an overreaction to this unexpected start for the Canadians.
Finland vs. Slovakia 12:00 PM EST
Germany vs. Sweden 2:30 PM EST
Switzerland vs. Latvia 5:00 PM EST
Austria vs. Czechia 7:30 PM EST
Lightning / NHL News
After an extended break for the holiday, the Lightning return to practice at Amalie Arena this afternoon. Hopefully, they’ve cleared their heads and are ready to put the last two performances behind them when they take on the Montreal Canadiens on Wednesday.
Top 5 Right Wingers of 2022 [Daily Faceoff]
Nikita Kucherov tops their list, as he should.
Old friend Sammy Walker is back in the NHL. He had a four-game run earlier this season. With Marcus Foligno nursing an injury and Mason Shaw suspended, the Wild needed some help on the forward ranks.
With the Buffalo airport closed until Wednesday following the winter storm over the weekend, the NHL has decided to postpone their game tonight in Columbus. A make-up date will be announced at a later date.