International Ice Hockey Federation

Quarter-finals magic

Quarter-finals magic

Great performances mark recent QFs

Published 02.01.2015 01:41 GMT-5 | Author Lucas Aykroyd
Quarter-finals magic
Yevgeni Kuznetsov singlehandedly brought Russia back from the grave against Finland in the 2011 quarter-finals. Photo: Matthew Manor / HHOF-IIHF Images
Does it seem to you like every year there’s at least one jaw-dropping performance that carries a team to victory in the World Junior quarter-finals?

It’s not just your imagination.

Even if we only go back to the last tournament in which Canada won gold (2009), we can easily see that this trend is ongoing. The only question now is, who will step up on Friday to provide the magic moments of 2015?

Let’s review some of the quarter-final highlights from the last six World Juniors.

2009: Goalie Jaroslav Janus makes 44 saves to backstop Slovakia to a stunning 5-3 quarter-final upset over the United States in Ottawa. The Slovaks go on to finish fourth, their best outcome since winning bronze in Winnipeg (1999).

2010: Swiss forward Nino Niederreiter pots the tying goal with 14.2 seconds left and the 3-2 overtime winner versus Russia in Regina. Switzerland then finishes fourth after an 11-4 bronze medal game loss to Sweden.

2011: In an incredible comeback from a 3-1 deficit against Finland, Yevgeni Kuznetsov puts on a show for Russia in Buffalo. The tall centre scores the 3-2 goal with four minutes remaining, puts on a dazzling rush that leads to Maxim Kitsyn’s tying market with a minute and a half left, and then adds the climactic OT goal with a great wrister at 6:44. The Russians proceed to win gold as they stun the favoured Canadians with an even better rally, trailing 3-0 going into the third period but notching five unanswered goals.

2012: Finnish captain Mikael Granlund and his brother Markus combine for seven points in an 8-5 romp over Slovakia in Calgary. However, the Finns wind up fourth, falling 4-0 to host Canada in the bronze medal game.

2013: Russia’s Nikita Kucherov provides a goal and an assist in regulation time – including the equalizer with 1:39 left in regulation – and then scores the dazzling winner in a 4-3 shootout victory over Switzerland in Ufa. The host Russians go on to take the bronze with a 6-5 victory over Canada.

2014: Using his wicked slap shot, defenceman Nikita Zadorov scores virtually identically one-timer goals on 5-on-3 power plays just a minute apart in the second period to help Russia beat the Americans 5-3. For the second straight year, the Russians defeat Canada in the bronze game, this time 2-1.


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