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Lightning Round: Upsets and blowouts mark the first day of the World Juniors

Canada, WYD?

Latvia v United States: Group B - 2023 IIHF World Junior Championship Photo by Dale Preston/Getty Images

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.

Today’s action:

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

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