World Under-18 Championship Ramblings: Opening Day Capped by USA-Russia Drama

Tony Ferrari

2021-04-27

Photo courtesy of the IIHF

 

That was fun!

 

The World Under-18 Championships had an exciting opening day with a 7-6 overtime comeback win by Russia after being down 5-1 to their rival Americans. We also saw Fabian Lysell and Isak Rosén do some fun stuff for Sweden in their win over Belarus. The Czech team put together a solid team effort in their win over Germany as they took a step towards ensuring a quarterfinal berth by beating the team they are likely competing with for the fourth spot in the group. Attilio Biasca helped lead the way as the Swiss took down the Latvians in their first game of the tournament. Let’s take a trip around day one!

 

Group A

Sweden 5-1 Belarus

This game was much closer than the score indicates. The Swedes have a ton of firepower in their lineup but seemed to be a bit off at even-strength throughout the night. They were getting shots on goal and making things happen but they didn’t seem to be dominating play the way you’d expect from Sweden against a team that doesn’t have many players that casual fans even know. One player that they may come to know after this event however is Ivan Zhigalov, the Belarusian goaltender who held them in the game for much of the night. He was able to hold the Belarusian team within one goal until the final two minutes of the second period and then continued to battle in the third period keeping it 3-1 until the final two minutes of the third period. All in all, Zhigalov was very strong in net and likely deserved a better fate than a 5-1 loss.

With that said, Fabian Lysell and Isak Rosén had some impressive moments throughout the game. The two likely first-round picks in the 2021 NHL Draft helped push the pace of play when they were on the ice. Fabian Lysell played with speed and his typical predatory instincts, attacking play and creating for himself and his teammates. Rosén was able to showcase his impressive shot and his sil