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World Junior Roundup: Canada, USA Score Big Wins, Finland Edges Czechia

Canada and USA move to 2-0 with big wins, while Finland needed a shootout to beat Czechia on the third day of the World Junior Championship in Edmonton.

Finland Beats Czechia in Comeback Shootout Effort

Finland and Czechia needed a shootout to decide one of the best games of the tournament, with Kasper Simontaival scoring twice in the skills competition to give Finland a come-from-behind 4-3 win.

Finland now has five points in two games, losing the extra point due to the game going past the scheduled distance. Canada moved into first place in Group A with their win later in the day, while Finland and Czechia sit second and third, respectively.

It took just 6:36 for the Czechs to get on the scoreboard first. From a tough angle on the goal line, Jaroslav Chmelar somehow found a tight angle under the pad of Leevi Merilainen for the 1-0 goal, with Jiri Kulich scoring five minutes later off of a faceoff to make it 2-0.

It was a slow start for the Finns, but at 16:28, a power-play goal put them on the board. Aleksi Heimosalmi found Roby Jarventie standing all alone by the right faceoff dot and blasted a wrister past Czech netminder Jan Bednar, cutting the deficit by one heading into the second. At 3:39 in the second, the Finns answered back. Kasper Puutio's shot beat Bednar, and while the Czechs asked for a review for goalie interference, the refs declared a good goal to make it a 2-2 game.

Both teams scored in the third to force extra time. First, Aatu Raty gave Finland its first lead of the game at 50:24 after getting into the slot and converting on Roni Hirvonen's pass for the 3-2 goal. Then, two minutes later, Czech captain Jan Mysak scored to tie things up again, giving the fans in attendance some extra hockey.

Nothing was solved in OT, so it was all up to the shootout. Jan Mysak scored the lone goal for the Czechs, while Simontaival bookended the skills competition with a pair of goals to secure the win for Finland.

McTavish Has Six-Point Night in Canada's Blowout Win Over Slovakia

Mason McTavish tied a Team Canada World Junior Championship record with four goals in an 11-1 win over Slovakia on Thursday.

McTavish, an Anaheim Ducks prospect, had six points total, while 14 players recorded at least one point.

Connor Bedard scored the opening goal at 6:16 thanks to good passing work between himself and McTavish. At 13:06, Will Cuylle scored his first of the tournament and set up Brennan Othmann for the 3-0 goal two minutes later. Olen Zellweger scored the final goal of the frame at 19:17, using heavy traffic in front to beat Simon Latkoczy and end his night. Slovakia's backup, Tomas Bolo, didn't fair much better with a goal less than two minutes into the second on a 5-on-3 penalty kill. 

Mason McTavish scored his first of the night at 26:26 after converting on Donovan Sebrango's feed, good for 6-0. Matej Kaslik scored the lone Slovakian goal 34:40 in, but two more goals from McTavish made it 8-1 after two. McTavish then scored his fourth goal of the night 43 minutes in, with Joshua Roy and Zack Ostapchuk finishing things up just before the final buzzer for the 11-1 victory.

USA Erases Slow Start to Win Big Over Switzerland

It took 25 minutes and a power play for the game's first goal, but when the floodgates opened, the goals kept coming. 

USA managed to beat Switzerland 7-1 on Thursday. improving to 2-0 after a big win over Germany to open the event. 

Swiss goalie Kevin Pasche looked great in the early going, stopping seven shots in the first, including some Grade-A chances. He made a few other in a 22-shot frame in the second, but Carter Mazur's power-play goal just shy of 26 minutes in made it 1-0. 

Switzerland's Joel Henry answered back in a big way at 28:25, using its relentless defensive effort to create a breakaway chance for Henry, who made no mistake. 

Unfortunately for Switzerland, everything fell apart from there. Brock Faber, Mazur, Landon Slaggert and Matthew Coronato all capitalized in the second half of the middle frame, giving USA a big 5-1 advantage heading into the last period of play. Switzerland made a goalie change, giving Noah Patenaude the crease to close things out, but Thomas Bordeleau's power-play goal just 1:57 took any potential steam away from the Swiss attack. Riley Duran's goal at 55:23 finished things off for the Americans in a comfortable win.

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