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Hlinka Gretzky Cup Roundup: Sweden, Czechia Look Good, Finland Bounces Back

Sweden started their Hlinka Gretzky Cup effort off strong with a win over Slovakia while Czechia and Finland showed muscle on the second day of play in Red Deer.
2022 Hlinka Gretzky Cup_1

Sweden Starts Strong Against Slovakia

In a game that saw a total of 10 power plays and 24 penalty minutes, Sweden managed to come out on top to win its first game of the tournament 4-1 over Slovakia.

The first 40 minutes were dominated by penalties, with Sweden taking three in the first and two in the second, along with Slovakia's lone roughing call against Adam Belusko. 

Zeb Forsfjall scored the game's opening goal at 38:35, which, surprisingly, wasn't a power-play marker. Slovakia got a late high-sticking penalty and the two teams traded roughing calls at the end of the period to really spice things up in a game clearly dominated by hatred.

Ondrej Molnar took an interference penalty early in the third, but it wouldn't stop the Slovaks from scoring shortly after. At 45:44, Samuel Barcik's goal tied it up, giving his team some life. That was short-lived, however, as Peter Cisar's penalty just 10 seconds later allowed Otto Stenberg the chance to capitalize on the power play, with David Edstrom scoring at 53:56 to make it 3-1. Slovakia got desperate late, but Stenberg's empty-netter sealed the deal for Sweden.

Finland rebounds to beat USA

After losing in the shootout against Czechia on Sunday, Finland bounced back with a 4-1 win over the United States despite getting outshot.

The Americans had a 31-23 shot advantage on Monday, and even scored early with Quentin Musty's power-play marker at 2:53 in the first. 

Emil Jarventie responded back with one of his own at 8:05, and from there on out, the Finns create damage where it mattered most. 

Maxim Eliseev's goal at 27:57 gave Finland its first lead, with Tuomas Uronen scoring on the man advantage at 35:44 to put things away. 

He capped it off with another goal in the third, while 2024 draft prospect Eemil Vinni stood tall the rest of the way to secure the victory with 30 saves compared to Calvin Vachon's 19.

Czechia perfect after thumping Germany

Czechia remains undefeated two days into the tournament after a convincing 7-2 victory over Germany on Monday.

The game saw an explosive start, with Eduard Sale (41 seconds in) and Timo Ruckdaschel (52 seconds in) potting early markers to see the stage for a wild affair. 

At 2:53, Dominik Petr scored on Czechia's next big scoring chance, with Matteo Koci scoring at 10:05 to make it a two-goal advantage.

Another two goals from Sale finished the hat-trick just 26 minutes into the game. That prompted a German goalie change, but Andrej Fabry and Adam Csabi scored just six seconds apart late in the second to spoil Doge's early good play to make it 7-1. Linus Brandl scored a power-play goal 15 seconds into the third period for Germany, but the damage had already been done and didn't do much for Germany's comeback efforts.

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