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2018 World Junior Update: Hart Records Shutout as Canada Locks Up Group A

By Kevin Durso, Sports Talk Philly editor 

Friday's outdoor game didn't go as planned for Canada, but their shootout loss put them in position to lock up the top spot in Group A at the 2018 World Junior Championships with a win over Denmark.

Carter Hart was back in net for Canada on Saturday night and made all 18 saves in their 8-0 win over Denmark to clinch the top spot in Group A.

It was a bit surprising to see Hart back in net for Canada after playing in Friday's outdoor game, but was given back-to-back starts because the team wanted him to have the work and with two days off before the quarterfinals, didn't think it would hurt any.

Hart didn't see a lot of action, facing just four shots in the first period and 14 in the final 40 minutes with the game already well out of reach, but did his job in keeping the puck out of the net. It is Hart's second win of the tournament, setting the stage for him to be the leading netminder heading into the quarterfinals, starting on Tuesday.

In other action, Maksim Sushko had two assists and finished with three shots on goal and was a plus-1 in 23:07. But Belarus suffered another loss, falling to Czech Republic, 6-5. With the loss, their fourth in Round Robin play, Belarus will head to the relegation round.

Sweden claimed a 7-2 win over Switzerland. Linus Hogberg was a plus-1 in 7:14 of ice time, serving as Sweden's seventh defenseman again. He also was on the wrong end of an own goal, attempting to drop the puck behind the goal line and instead putting the puck into his own net.

The game was actually closer than the final score showed, as the teams entered the third period with Sweden leading 3-2. Four third-period goals for Sweden ultimately put the game away.

Finland defeated Slovakia, 5-2, in the only other game of the day. The Finns used three third-period goals of their own to claim the victory.

With Saturday's games complete, there is just one more day of Round Robin play. Canada and Belarus are the only two teams that have played their four games of Round Robin. All of the remaining teams will be in action on Sunday.


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