The GIFies: Tightly Contested Games Dominate Day 3 of World Juniors

Rachel Doerrie Dec 29, 2023
The GIFies

Two excellent games and another tidy win for Slovakia who moves to 3-0 in the tournament. Sweden hasn’t given up a goal in the tournament, the USA needed shootout heroics to beat Czechia and Canada struggled to create offense. Most notably, Henrik Lundqvist was honoured for his Hall of Fame induction and he looked every bit the part.

Sniping the Blues

If you missed the morning game, it was high octane. Slovakia beat Norway 8-4 to remain perfect at the World Juniors on the back of Servac Petrovsky and Dalibor Dvorsky tallying four points each.

Dvorsky’s first was a beautiful give and go and some silky mitts to finish five-hole. The Blues prospect had 2 goals and two assists in this one. The St. Louis Blues prospects are showing out at the World Juniors – sheeeeeesh!

Servac is Serving

Don’t forget about the Minnesota Wild prospect. He’s looked incredible for Slovakia in this tournament and continues to lead in scoring. 7 points in 3 games, not too bad for the 185th (!) overall pick.

Ice Man, Ice Veins, Ice Cold Celly

The Americans came back from two goals down against Czechia

Isaac Howard, the guy who wore a white suit on draft day, with the silky set of mitts in the shootout to freeze the goaltender and slide it five-hole for the second time. Doesn’t get much cooler than that. You just know some old curmudgeon is yelling at a cloud about his celebration.

Is That Good?

If I had a dollar for every time I heard a scout say Lane Hutson was too small to play, I’d have a down payment on a Toronto condo. Scouts were tripping over themselves to say this kid was too small despite him finding a way to dominate at every level. Yes, NHL players are bigger, but Hutson has been small his entire life and continues to find a way to get it done.

Not only was he dynamic offensively, he’s been excellent defensively. The USA surrendered three goals and Hutson wasn’t on the ice for any of them. He played HALF the game. If you can draft a defenceman that can play half the game and not give up anything defensively while dominating offensively, that seems like something you should do. But, he’s short or something.

Shove Your Short Goalie Narrative

There is a very prominent narrative amongst hockey people, specifically scouts, that dictates any goalie shorter than 6 feet is incapable of playing in the NHL. Juuse Saros is a very obvious exception. But, maybe we should evaluate the narrative here because Hugo Havelid has played 120 minutes and given up 0 goals. You read that right, ZERO.

At some point, the 5’10 goalie with zero goals against making unbelievable saves might be a better option at the draft than a 6’4 guy with an .850. He was passed over twice at the NHL draft and I’m thinking that maybe, some team might want to take a swing at him this year.

Henrik Lundqvist spoke about both goaltenders in the Canada-Sweden game and voiced his support for drafting based on merit instead of height. I’m not a goalie expert, but I’m going to go ahead and trust the analysis of “The King of Two or Less.”

Best Jinx Attempt

Don’t say it…don’t say it.

Except Sweden not only got the shutout against Canada, they haven’t allowed a goal in the tournament. Not sure what can be done to jinx a multi-game shutout with multiple goaltenders, but teams maybe want to try and figure that out for the medal rounds.

Save of the Day

When you impress the man freshly inducted into the Hockey Hall of Fame for excellence in goaltending, you’re doing something right.

This was one of MANY great saves from Mattis Rousseau against Sweden. It was a goaltending clinic and if there is one area where Canada has no worries, it is their goaltending.

Best Supportive Friends

Connor Bedard is eligible for this year and next year’s World Juniors after dominating last year. He and Chicago teammate Kevin Korchinski were glued to the TV after morning skate supporting Canada. Canada hoped to have Korchinski for the tournament, but Chicago opted to keep him in the NHL. Given the lack of firepower in the game today, safe to say Canada wishes they had both of those players at their disposal.

Don’t Forget Your Manners, Kids

Slovakia’s captain, Adam Sykora was raised well. Who tells an interviewer they are appreciated and to have a nice day? Most hockey players give bland answers and walk away before the camera switches, and this guy is giving out well wishes. We love to see it.

Best Dressed

I mean, it really isn’t close. Leave it to Henrik Lundqvist to show up with the perfectly tied tie, tie clip, 3-peice suit and fur lapels. 30/10, no notes. There is no topping that, so we’re going to end there.

Rachel Doerrie

Rachel Doerrie is a sports media personality, businesswoman, and former NHL front office member. Doerrie began her career as a consultant for several teams before joining the New Jersey Devils and, later, joining the Vancouver Canucks as an analyst and video coach. In media, Doerrie has written for some of the top outlets in the industry such as The Athletic, EP Rinkside, and The Hockey News. She created the hit Staff & Graph podcast that has grown into the streaming and video spaces and continues to consult with professional sports teams on data analysis and communications.

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