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World Juniors GDT: Latvia vs. Finland, 12.26.12


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#1 OFFLINE   Erik C.

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Posted 25 December 2012 - 08:42 PM

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December 26, 2012
2:30 AM Eastern
Ufa Sports Palace, Ufa, Russia

Television:
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Absent a formal gave preview, I’m including with the team rosters the NHL.com preview written for each team.

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Coach: Leonids Tamblijevs

Team Roster
#Player NamePos.NHL Rights
23Toms AndersonsForward2013 Draft Eligible
8Edmunds AugstkalnsDefense2013 Draft Eligible
21Teodors BlugersForward2013 Draft Eligible
10Rihards BukartsForward2013 Draft Eligible
17Nikolajs JelisejevsForward2013 Draft Eligible
28Nikita JevpalovsForward2013 Draft Eligible
13Edgars KuldaForward2013 Draft Eligible
26Edgars KurmisForward2013 Draft Eligible
12Arturs KuzmenkovsForward2013 Draft Eligible
18Kriss LipsbergsDefense2013 Draft Eligible
11Roberts LipsbergsForward2013 Draft Eligible
30Elvis MerzlikinsGoalie2013 Draft Eligible
1Vadims MiscuksGoalie2013 Draft Eligible
2Kristaps NimanisDefense2013 Draft Eligible
16Karlis OzolinsForward2013 Draft Eligible
25Ivars PennenovsGoalie2013 Draft Eligible
29Lauris RancevsForward2013 Draft Eligible
5Rinalds RosinskisDefense2013 Draft Eligible
19Arturs SevcenkoForward2013 Draft Eligible
4Edgars SiksnaDefense2013 Draft Eligible
15Andris SiksnisForward2013 Draft Eligible
14Patriks SkuratovsDefense2013 Draft Eligible
7Pauls ZvirbulisDefense2013 Draft Eligible


Last year: Latvia was outscored 31-8 while going winless in the preliminary round. Its only win came in overtime in its final game against Denmark to finish ninth.

2013 NHL Draft watch: Left wing Roberts Lipsbergs, who plays for the Seattle Thunderbirds, leads all Western Hockey League first-year players with 17 goals and 32 points in 34 games. Right wing Nikita Jevpalovs has 15 points and a plus-12 rating in 33 games for the Blainville-Boisbriand Armada in the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League.

Schedule: Dec. 26, Finland, 2:30 a.m. ET; Dec. 27, Switzerland, 7 a.m. ET; Dec. 29, Sweden, 7 a.m. ET; Dec. 30, Czech Republic, 7 a.m. ET.

Outlook: Buffalo Sabres prospect Zemgus Girgensons, the 14th pick of the 2012 NHL Draft, will be Latvia's best player. However, even with Girgensons, Lipsbergs and Jevpalovs (who scored the OT goal against Denmark), it's hard to envision Latvia making it out of preliminary-round play. The goal should be more than one win in the relegation round.


And the funny things is: Girgensons didn't even make the team.

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Coach: Harri Rindell

Team Roster
#Player NamePos.NHL Rights
15Miro AaltonenForward2013 Draft Eligible
10Joel ArmiaForwardBuffalo Sabres
8Henri AuvinenDefense2013 Draft Eligible
16Aleksander BarkovForward2013 Draft Eligible
11Markus GranlundForwardCalgary Flames
13Markus HannikainenForward2013 Draft Eligible
19Ville JarvelainenForward2013 Draft Eligible
31Janne JuvonenGoalie2013 Draft Eligible
30Joonas KorpisaloGoalieColumbus Blue Jackets
24Matti LambergForward2013 Draft Eligible
1Eetu LaurikainenGoalie2013 Draft Eligible
28Artturi LehkonenForward2013 Draft Eligible
26Robert LeinoForward2013 Draft Eligible
4Petteri LindbohmDefenseSt. Louis Blues
2Olli MaattaDefensePittsburgh Penguins
21Thomas NykoppForward2013 Draft Eligible
12Ville PokkaDefenseNew York Islanders
3Juuso RiikolaDefense2013 Draft Eligible
5Rasmus RistolainenDefense2013 Draft Eligible
23Saku SalminenForward2013 Draft Eligible
22Miikka SalomakiForwardNashville Predators
20Teuvo TervainenForwardChicago Blackhawks
27Juuso VainioDefense2013 Draft Eligible


Last year: After losing to Canada in its tournament opener, Finland didn't lose again until a 3-2 setback to Sweden in the semifinals. Finland finished fourth after losing 4-0 to Canada in the bronze-medal game.

2013 NHL Draft watch: Alexander Barkov is a likely top-five pick in June. Central Scouting's top-ranked Finnish skater is dominating SM-liiga, the top Finnish professional league, with 14 goals and 28 points in 32 games. Defenseman Rasmus Ristolainen is considered a top-end all-round defenseman who can dominate at both ends of the rink.

Schedule: Dec. 26, Latvia, 2:30 a.m. ET; Dec. 28, Czech Republic, 2:30 a.m. ET; Dec. 30, Switzerland, 2:30 a.m. ET; Dec. 31, Sweden, 7 a.m. ET.

Outlook: Finland could be the surprise team of the tournament, and its matchup with Sweden on New Year's Eve likely will decide the winner of Group A and which team gets a bye into the semifinals. Finland has talent and depth at all positions and will be well-coached. A medal is a serious possibility.


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#2 OFFLINE   Erik C.

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Posted 26 December 2012 - 04:17 PM

For the second straight year, Latvia opened the World Juniors with a tough loss to a Nordic nation. A three-point effort by Miro Aaltonen lifted Finland to a 5-1 victory at Ufa’s Sports Palace.

Aaltonen scored twice for Finland and added an assist. Rasmus Ristolainen had a goal and a helper, and Artturi Lehkonen and Markus Granlund added singles. Joel Armia chipped in two assists.

Unfortunately, Aaltonen had to leave the game after a third-period blueline collision where his right ankle appeared to get badly twisted.

"His tournament is over because his ankle is very bad," said Finnish coach Harri Rindell, who said the 19-year-old Espoo Blues forward may require surgery. "He was so depressed because he really wanted to play and he is in great shape. That's hockey, unfortunately."

Nikolajs Jelisejevs replied for Latvia, which lost 9-4 to Sweden to kick off last year’s tournament.

"I think we played well, but the reason we lost this game is we took too many penalties," said Latvian forward Roberts Lipsbergs.


From the IIHF

Best Players Of The Game (as voted on by each team)

LAT: Arturs Kuzmenkovs
FIN: Miro Aaltonen

This point has been edited by Erik C.: 26 December 2012 - 04:22 PM

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#3 OFFLINE   MightyPanthers

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Posted 26 December 2012 - 05:43 PM

Aaltonen is likely to miss the rest of the season...
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#4 OFFLINE   Erik C.

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Posted 26 December 2012 - 06:55 PM

You mean even his club league play? Damn.
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#5 OFFLINE   MightyPanthers

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Posted 27 December 2012 - 04:44 PM

You mean even his club league play? Damn.

Yes. It needs surgery and the recovery is going to take atleast 3 months and playoffs end here early in April.
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#6 OFFLINE   Caniac59

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Posted 27 December 2012 - 04:48 PM

My money is on the Fins this game !!! :gap:
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#7 OFFLINE   Erik C.

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Posted 27 December 2012 - 05:16 PM

My money is on the Fins this game !!! :gap:

I'm sure it would have been even before it was played.
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#8 OFFLINE   MightyPanthers

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Posted 27 December 2012 - 06:22 PM

My money is on the Fins this game !!! :gap:

You should put moneys to the us every game expect game against Sweden because it's going to be draw after regulation.
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