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U-18 World Championship Three Stars: Havelid, Cooley and Augustine Shine

The semifinal saw some drama late in the second game, but the championship matchup will be the United States and Sweden.Here's a look at Saturday's top performers.
2022 IIHF U18_2

The semifinal saw some drama late in the second game, but the championship matchup will be the United States and Sweden.

Here's a look at Saturday's top performers:

First Star: G Hugo Hävelid, Sweden | 41 saves on 42 shots

The Finns had been the most consistent team outside of the Americans at this tournament, but Hävelid’s performance allowed Sweden to keep playing their game. Hävelid was tracking the puck at such a high level in this game and it proved to be the difference.

Hävelid made a number of big saves as the game wore on including three saves on Finnish snipper Joakim Kemell who was teed up for a one-time shot on the powerplay routinely. The biggest save of the game may have come about halfway through the third period when he denied Jani Nyman on a partial breakaway, standing his ground and making the save with ease. The Finns finally cracked Hävelid with under five minutes to play when Nyman picked up a loose puck in the offensive zone and then curled to the middle of the ice and beat Hävelid high. The Finns found an extra gear and began generating quality chances with Hävelid making big save after big save. 

Second Star: C Logan Cooley, USA | 2A

The difference between a good player and a great player is often the ability to make everyone around them better. Logan Cooley showed that today, as he has routinely done throughout the U-18 World Championships. The American center showcased his understanding of the game in all three zones. His defensive awareness led to excellent transition play resulting in an offensive chance or two. Rinse and repeat. Against Czechia in the semifinals, Cooley was a catalyst for play creation. His unselfish play along with a willingness to take what the opposition gives him individually made him a constant dual threat.

Cooley’s first assist was a thing of beauty. The American center intercepted an attempted breakout pass and immediately made a beeline for the net. He put a move on the Czech defender and pulled all of the attention and the goaltender across the net before threading a beautiful backhand pass to Cutter Gauthier for a tap-in. The goal put the Americans up 2-1 in the elimination game. It was the moment you felt the air come out of the Czech bubble and the Americans took the game over from there, ultimately winning by a margin of five. Cooley collected another assist on a pretty passing play that started because of a Cooley defensive play and resulted in a Jimmy Snuggerud goal. Cooley is widely considered the No. 2 prospect eligible for the 2022 NHL draft and his performance thus far at the U-18s will do nothing but solidify that opinion as he leads the Americans in scoring en route to the gold medal game.

Third Star: G Kenneth “Trey” Augustine, USA | 26 saves on 27 shots

The Americans have rotated back and forth between Augustine and Tyler Muszelik, with both finding success in each game. This may have been the best performance between the duo at the U-18s though as the 2005-born Augustine made 26 saves against a Czech team that looked to be the Americans' first challenger through the first half of this game. Early on, Czechia was generating a number of quality chances and generating some good offensive zone time where Augustine had to come up big to keep the Americans from going down too big early on. He allowed the first goal on the game while the U.S. was on the penalty kill, but Augustine was able to shut the door from there.

After the Americans tied the game early in period two, Czechia upped their pressure in an attempt to get the momentum back in their favor. Augustine showed good technical skill and ensured he was in position to thwart whatever chances came his way. The Americans seemingly took over the game in the latter half of the second period which gave Augustine a bit of a break. In the third period, Czechia once again upped the pressure, understanding that they needed to get back into this game and Augustine made all 12 saves asked of him. It was a quality start for the 2023 NHL draft-eligible netminder who has looked good each time he’s been in the crease at the U-18s.

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