About the League
Day 2 of the 2019 Sirius Junior Club World Cup boasted a lot of action. As many as three games took place in Sochi, the first of which kicked off already at noon. Loko Yaroslavl and Team AJHL future opponents went up against each other as Swedish MODO, 2017 tournament finalists, faced Swiss Davos, who have become a regular at JCWC.
Opening minutes of play didn’t feature fast-paced hockey as opponents were feeling each other out. Davos had two powerplay opportunities but it’s the Swedes who created the best scoring chance – Marvin Kortin pulled off a fantastic diving save on a top-shelf shot. The blue-and-yellow responded with a breakaway but Ivan Altukhov failed to beat Lucas Jägbring. Oliver Heinen took another menacing shot but Jägbring did the splits and caught the puck with his glove. The Swiss spent last moments of the period in the offensive end but the teams still headed to the dressing-rooms tied 0-0 after 20 minutes of play.
In the second period the teams engaged in a lot of physical battles and committed mutual mistakes. Goaltenders rarely were called to action and even when Lorenzo Glarner got a minor for tripping, MODO couldn’t create anything on the ensuing powerplay. MODO got caught with too many men on the ice but Davos failed to even set camp in the offensive zone. The Swedes managed to give Kortin a lot of work later in the period. Anton Gradin’s line looked especially great as the mighty forward took several shots on net.
MODO began the third stanza with several long shots, which either went wide or were stopped by Kortin. Davos answered with a few counter-attacks, the most dangerous of which led to Adem Kandemir hitting the post with a backhand shot. MODO created another scoring chance after that, which was shortly followed by defenseman Denys Rubanik finally opening up the scoring on the wraparound attempt. Davos got another penalty after that and MODO made them pay – Linus Skager got one past Kortin with a gorgeous top-shelf shot to tie the game up 1-1. MODO had a real chance to win the game in regulation but they failed to convert on a 2-man advantage.
Davos seemed to have more energy in the extra period of play and yet they went down a man again with just 53 seconds remaining on the clock. MODO banged on the door but Kortin stood his ground and the game went to the shootout. William Wallinder got to be the hero as he was the only one who converted on his attempt. MODO win 2-1 in the shootout for two points, while Davos get one point for the loss.
“It was a difficult game today but that’s what makes this win even more precious,” said MODO forward Willy Norberg. “We battled for each other throughout the game and it was great. Today we gave it a 100%. We got scored on first but we did our best not to think of it, kept the pressure on, skated and pushed on. In the end, we managed to tie it. We have a great atmosphere in our dressing-room, as always is the case of winning. We usually get together and relay a hat to each other. Whoever has the hat, has to say a few words of motivation. Although, we forgot the hat today, so we were handing each other a banana (laughs). We also put on our win song and danced together.”
“We’re happy to win. It was very important to get a win at the start of the tournament,” said MODO head-coach Mikael Sundell. “It’s the first World Cup for many of our players. Only Anton Gradin, our captain, played at the 2017 tournament in Yekaterinburg. I saw that some of our boys had trembling hands because of nervousness in the first period. But our team gradually moved forward with every period. I saw the game between Loko [Yaroslavl] and Team AJHL, whom we face next. We know that Canadians play tough. We need to play well defensively with them. Hopefully, it’s going to help us get the win. Judging by those games I’ve seen, this World Cup has brought together teams of a high caliber, just like back in 2017. We have expected this high level of competition.”
“Both teams played well and deserved to win,” believes Davos goaltender Marvin Kortin. “The shootout-winner was very frustrating as the puck got into the net at the last moment. However, I stay positive and will do my best to put it behind me as soon as possible. There was no tension in the dressing-room after the game. Many of our players already discuss tomorrow’s game. We need to win because we represent our country and have to uphold our good reputation. We have a Russian player on our team – Ivan Altukhov. There’s also our trainer Isabelle – a very important member of our team. She speaks Russian with us and it’s great. She showed us a few places in Sochi to go for a walk and see something interesting.”
2019 Sirius Junior Club World Cup
August 24th. Sochi, Russia. Shayba Ice Arena
Round Robin. Group А
MODO (Sweden) – Davos (Switzerland) – 2-1 SO (0-0, 0-0, 1-1, 0-0, 1-0)
0-1 – Rubanik (Unassisted) – 45-17
1-1 – Skager (Wallinder) – 49-02 PPG
2-1 – Wallinder – 65-00 SOW
Goaltenders: Jägbring - Kortin