U18: Finland into quarterfinals

Day 5: Germany keeps quarterfinal hopes alive, Finland secures its spot.


Belarus goaltender Alexander Borodulia faced 42 shots, but couldn't save the win. PHOTO: Mikael Fritzon, HHoF

Finland – Belarus 4-3 (1-1, 1-2, 2-0)
Finland secured its spot in the quarterfinals at the U18 Championship after a third-period surge lifted the Nordic nation to a 4-3 win against Belarus. For Belarus, things are also clear, they will play in the relegation round, carrying no points after going 0-0-4 in the preliminary round. Tomorrow Finland and the U.S. will play to determine which will earn second place in the group. Meanwhile, Switzerland will play Sweden in a game that does nothing to change the group standings. Since the Swiss lost head-to-head against both Finland and the U.S., their hopes for a quarterfinal round spot are finished. Belarus looked strong early, skating to a 1-0 lead with a power-play goal in the first period. But within a minute, the Finns tied the game with a goal from Toni Rajala. Belarus once again started the second period strong, this time netting two straight goals to climb out to the 3-1 lead. Finland managed to cut the lead to one goal late in the period, setting up a third-period showdown. Matias Sointu set the tone early in the period, scoring the equalizer for Finland just 1:01 into the stanza. The deadlock remained in the tense period until Pekka Jormakka netted the game-winner with 4:31 left in the game. Despite the close score, Finland out-shot Belarus 42-20. Demark – Germany 0-4 (0-1, 0-2, 0-1)
With a 4-0 win against Denmark, Germany kept its hopes alive to reach the U18 quarterfinals. Germany now has five points in the preliminary round and must await the outcome of tomorrow’s Slovakia-Canada game. The Slovaks have four points, and must earn at least two points tomorrow against the Canadians. If Slovakia loses in regulation or overtime, Germany would earn the quarterfinal berth. It was clear from the first puck drop that Germany was on a mission to keep its quarterfinal chances afloat. The Germans out-shot Slovakia a lopsided 41-17. Despite the uneven action, Germany scored only once in the first period when Maximilian Hofbauer scored just past the midway point of the period. Germany cracked the game open in the second period, climbing ahead 3-0 with two even-strength goals. Patrick Pohl sealed the win with a goal in the last six minutes of the game to bring the final to 4-0. Philipp Grubauer earned the shutout in net for Germany. Denmark will enter the relegation round with zero points. Meanwhile, either Slovakia or Germany will carry three points with them to the relegation round, depending on the outcome of tomorrow’s game between the Slovaks and Canada.
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