World Juniors Update: Canada, Sweden Stunned in Quarterfinals Upsets

By Kevin Durso, Sports Talk Philly editor 

Four games were on the slate in the quarterfinal round of the World Junior Championships. Within the first two games of the day, three Flyers prospects were out of the tournament. Four will live to play another day.

The United States moved to the semi-finals with a 3-1 win over Czech Republic in Wednesday's quarterfinals action, while heavyweights Sweden and Canada were both handed upset losses, ending their tournament.

Here are the results and how the Flyers prospects fared.

Switzerland 2, Sweden 0

In a stunner, Switzerland took the lead in the first period and added a goal in the second, silencing the Swedes on the way to a 2-0 victory. Samuel Ersson was in goal and still made 33 saves despite the loss. It was his first loss of the tournament. He finished with a 3-1-0 record, a 2.23 GAA and a .922 save percentage. Defenseman Adam Ginning took a penalty in the loss and finished the tournament with no points.

Finland 2, Canada 1 (F/OT)

Morgan Frost was at it again early, getting a secondary assist on Ian Mitchell's first period goal to open the scoring. That goal held up into the final minute of regulation in the third, when Eeli Tolvanen's centering pass hit Aleksi Heponiemi's foot and bounced into the net for the tying goal with 46.6 seconds remaining.

In overtime, Canada had a penalty shot after Evan Bouchard was hauled down on a breakaway. Electing to have Max Comtois shoot, he was stopped by Ukko-Pekka Luukkonen. Noah Dobson had a great chance at the side of the net moments later, but his stick broke on the one-timer attempt. Back the other way, the Finns finished off the game with Toni Utunen scoring on a rising shot that hit the stick of Cody Glass and beat Michael DiPietro to end Canada's bid at back-to-back gold medals. It is the first time Canada will not medal in World Juniors since 1998.

Frost was one of Canada's best in the tournament, though not among the top three selected at the end of the tournament. He finished with four goals and four assists for eight points, second in the tournament at the conclusion of the day.

United States 3, Czech Republic 1

Projected first overall pick in the 2019 NHL Draft Jack Hughes returned to action and set up a Flyers prospect for the first goal in the first. A great rush by the younger Hughes was finished with a nice move by Noah Cates

Josh Norris made it 2-0 in the second period, but the Czechs responded midway through the third with a power-play goal by Martin Kaut. In the closing moments of the game, a long shot by Sasha Chmelevski reached the empty net, sealing a US victory.

Joel Farabee finished as a plus-1 with two shots in 17:28 of ice time. Cates had four shots, including the goal, and was a plus-1 in 17:17. Jack St. Ivany had one shot in 8:48. Jay O'Brien dressed for the game, but did not get a shift.

Russia 8, Slovakia 3

Russia roared out to a 4-0 lead in the first and never looked back, scoring three more goals in the second to open up a 7-0 lead. They added one more goal in the third while Slovakia managed three goals in the final period.

The tournament continues on Friday with the semi-finals. USA will face Russia in the first game at 4 p.m. followed by Switzerland facing Finland at 8 p.m. The losing teams will face off on Saturday in the Bronze Medal Game at 4 p.m. and the winning teams will advance to the Gold Medal Game on Saturday at 8 p.m.