World Juniors Recap Day 5: Penalty shots, a plethora of goals, and a huge comeback

The Swiss left it all out on the line, but couldn’t survive a relentless Russian comeback — and Kazahkstan got trampled over again

Sunday night’s slate of 2019 World Juniors hockey wasn’t supposed to be anything special, but it was clear the four teams involved didn’t get that memo. Russia, Switzerland, Slovakia, and Kazahkstan combined to score 22 goals in the two games, and seven players had multi-goal games.

As of today, we now know one of the two teams who will play in relegation, but as always, everything else will be settled tonight.

If you were confused about why Switzerland was awarded two penalty shots on the same play, I went to the official IIHF rulebook to try and figure it out.

Oh, and the IIHF announced a suspension yesterday.

Game One: Russia 7, Switzerland 4
SOG: RUS - 36, SUI - 26
PP: RUS - 2/3, SUI - 0/3
Players of the Game: RUS - Daniil Tarasov (CBJ), SUI - Marco Lehmann

Good lord, this game was just chaos. Switzerland jumped out to an early lead, opening the scoring 49 seconds in thanks to Marco Lehmann. Valentin Nussbaumer (2019) made it 2-0 midway through the frame, banging in a rebound past Russian goalie Daniil Tarasov. Switzerland dominated the entire period, stifling the Russian attack, and breaking in on odd-man rush after odd-man rush. Fortunately, Dmitri Samorukov (Edmonton) would score a critical goal for Russia late in the first to get them within one.

Lehmann’s second of the game gave Switzerland a 3-1 lead in the second thanks to Russian Vasili Podkolzin (2019), but Samorukov would respond with his second goal just 21 seconds later.

Vitaly Kravtsov (Rangers) and Grigori Denisenko (Florida) connect on the powerplay to tie the game with just under half of the game to go:

And this is where the game, as we had previously known it, changed forever. Samorukov dragged down Lehmann on a breakaway, and when Lehmann got back up to try and get a scoring chance off anyways, Samorukov took him down again.

Officials immediately awarded Switzerland not one, but two penalty shots, which boggled the minds of those online — mostly because many have never seen this happen before, myself included:

Now, according to the official IIHF rule guidebook, here is how referees are instructed to handle two (or more) penalty shots awarded on the same play:

“If the referee signals a penalty shot, and before the play is whistled because of a goal or to call the penalty shot another foul is assessed to the same team, the additional penalty will be assessed regardless if the skater scores on either the play or the subsequent penalty shot.” — IIHF Rule 1164 (iv) []

“Should two penalty shots be awarded to the same team at the same stoppage of play (for two separate fouls), only one goal can be scored. Should the first penalty shot result in a goal, the second penalty shot is automatically cancelled, but the appropriate penalty is assessed for the second infraction. If the first shot is unsuccessful, the second shot is taken. The order of the penalty shots will be decided by the order of the infractions during game action.” — IIHF Rule 1169 (vi) []

Essentially, because Lehmann was fouled by Samorukov but still maintained possession of the puck, play was allowed to continue. Samorukov taking Lehmann down a second time, on the same play, warranted a second penalty shot — but Switzerland would only have one goal count, regardless.

It didn’t really matter, because Switzerland didn’t score on either penalty shot:

This was the turning point for Russia, and the Swiss squandered a huge opportunity to put the game away. The game remained tied 3-3 late heading into the third, and by the time the Russians took to the ice again, it was evident that they were a different team.

Ivan Muranov went to the box, serving a five minute major for butt-ending a Swiss player with his stick.

The penalty carried over into the third, where Kirill Slepets gave Russia its first lead of the game with a shorthanded goal.

Switzerland was called for too many men on the ice, so Alexander Alexeyev (Washington) made it 5-3. Yannick Bruschweiler brought the Swiss back within a goal less than 40 seconds later. 2019 draft-eligible prospects Nussbaumer and David Aebischer started the play in the neutral zone. Unfortunately, that was it for Switzerland, as Pavel Shen made it 6-4 and Kravtsov followed up with Russia’s seventh goal:

Switzerland has no one to blame for this loss but themselves. They couldn’t convert on either penalty shot, but they also failed to score on their 5-minute powerplay and handed Russia the three points. They’ve likely done enough to avoid relegation (they’ll await the result of Denmark vs. Czech Republic tonight), but they should have won this game. It was a crushing way to end what was actually a fantastically-played preliminary round for them.

Meanwhile, Russia will head into their New Year’s Eve showdown with Canada tonight for first place in Group A. The winner will play Slovakia in the quarters, but the loser faces a tough opponent in either the United States or Finland. Kravtsov, Denisenko, and Klim Kostin (St. Louis) looked good on Russia’s last goal, but they’ll need their best game of the round robin against Canada. Russia will also need to get off to a better start. What they afforded the Swiss today will not yield success against the Canadians. Nevertheless, it should be a great hockey game and we’ll see who’s on the winning end of it tonight.

Game Two: Slovakia 11, Kazahkstan 2
SOG: SVK - 41, KAZ - 23
PP: SVK - 1/5, KAZ - 2/7
Players of the Game: SVK - Andrej Kollar, KAZ - Artur Gatiyatov

It has been an absolute pleasure to watch Kazahkstan play in this tournament. Yes, they did allow more goals with each subsequent game, but the crowds have fallen in love with them and you have to admire the passion they brought with them to Victoria. They didn’t show up to the tournament with a goal song (assuming they wouldn’t need one), and scored four times in three games (two against the United States!).

Artur Gatiyatov, who was Kazahkstan’s hero at the Division 1 tournament last year, finally got on the board with two goals (and several chances to get the hat trick, too).

Unfortunately, Gatiyatov’s first goal didn’t come until Kazahkstan was already down 8-0 in the second period.

Milos Roman (Calgary) opened the scoring, followed by two goals from Adam Ruzicka (Calgary). Andrej Kollar, Filip Krivosik, and Marcel Dlugos followed with goals to end the first period, and pretty much dashed all of Kazahkstan’s hopes for an upset.

Kollar added his second goal two and a half minutes into the second period, followed by Roman’s second goal of the game. After Gatiyatov’s first goal (on the powerplay), Pavol Regenda scored to make it 9-1 heading into the third.

Gatiyatov scored first in the third period, but Dlugos added his second goal to make it 10-2 for the Slovaks. Kollar finished off his hat-trick with a goal in the last 13 seconds of the game, as Slovakia cruised to an easy victory (at least on paper).

This game was physical, which isn’t surprising given the score. However, after Kazahkstan took four straight penalties at the beginning of the game, Slovakia followed seven straight penalties in the second and third periods.

Slovakia had the lead by a wide margin. There was absolutely no need to take as many penalties as they did. Even their goalie, Samuel Hlavaj, took an interference penalty for a Tim Thomas-on-Daniel Sedin body check. Martin Pospisil threw a couple of questionable hits that shook up several Kazahkstan players. I’m not sure whether or not the IIHF will look at them for any further supplemental discipline, but he was only penalized once.

With their win, Slovakia booked their spot in the quarter-finals, and Kazahkstan will play down in relegation. Kazahkstan still has one game left today against Sweden, but Slovakia will await the winner of Canada-Russia to see who they play on January 2nd.

Suspension News

It was confirmed yesterday evening that Canadian defenseman Jared McIsaac (Detroit) was suspended one game for his hit on Czech Republic’s forward Jachym Kondelik.

From the IIHF’s official statement:

“McIsaac will miss Canada’s final preliminary round game on New Year’s Eve against Russia. The suspension stems from a violation of Official Playing Rule 124 (Checking to the Head and Neck Area).” []

“The Disciplinary Panel determined that, because McIsaac drove and extended his body upward towards Kondelik’s head, his actions were extremely dangerous, created a serious risk of injury to Kondelik, and violated IIHF Official Rule 124.” []

I didn’t mention anything regarding supplemental discipline in yesterday’s recap, but that I thought the hit itself was ugly, and given the height difference, could not have happened had McIsaac not left his skates. Although McIsaac was Canada’s seventh defenseman, his absence will be felt on the blueline. The team will be down to just two left-handed shots as they take on Russia tonight.

  • Today’s Games:
    Czech Republic vs. Denmark (4pm EST/1pm PST)
    Players to Watch: CZE - Ondrej Machala, DEN - Jonas Rondbjerg (VEG)
  • Kazahkstan vs. Sweden (6:30pm EST/3:30pm PST)
    Players to Watch: KAZ - Artur Gatiyatov, SWE - Filip Hallander (PIT)
  • Canada vs. Russia (8pm EST/5pm PST)
    Players to Watch: CAN - Mikey DiPietro (VAN), RUS - Grigori Denisenko (FLA)
  • United States vs. Finland (10:30pm EST/7:30pm PST)
    Players to Watch: USA - Joel Farabee (PHI), SWE - Kaapo Kakko (2019)/