2020 WJC Day 2 Recap

Jokke Nevalainen

2019-12-28

 

In today’s recap, I combined both games into one article because I’m sure not everyone was super excited about the Slovakia-Kazakhstan game. But it was an important game because the loser of the game would likely go to relegation round whereas the winner is very close to securing their playoff spot, so let’s start by going though what happened in that game.

 

SVK-KAZ

 

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After a scoreless first period, Slovakia got on the board on the power play. Winger Oliver Okuliar, who plays for Lethbridge in the WHL, started the play by giving a nice pass to winger Maxim Cajkovic (TBL), who plays for Saint John in the QMJHL. Cajkovic then makes a quick little pass to defenseman Samuel Knazko (2020), a projected third round pick who plays in the Finnish junior league. Knazko makes a great cross ice pass, and Okuliar is there to finish it off with a nice one-timer. Slovakia’s three most skilled players gave them the early lead.

 

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Later in that period, Kazakhstan got on the power play, and their most skilled player, winger Maxim Musorov, took matters into his own hands. The 18-year-old Kazakh has a great shot, and you can see it here. He doesn’t have a great angle but manages to get the puck over the goalie’s shoulder. 18-year-old defenseman Danil Butenko got the only assist.

 

It was Musorov’s third goal in the tournament which puts him at the top of the goal-scoring race. This shouldn’t come as a big surprise because he’s had a great season in the Russian junior league – his 1.35 points-per-game average leads all under-19 players in the MHL – and he’s also played a dozen KHL games as well. Musorov didn’t get drafted last summer but he’s making a statement in this tournament – he’s one to watch for sure.

 

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With less than three minutes left in the third period, Slovakia regained their lead. 19-year-old forward Daniel Tkac, who was actually born in USA and plays in the BCHL, received a great pass from winger Michal Mrázik, who plays in the Swedish junior league. 18-year-old defenseman David Mudrak