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3 things learned at Day 2 of World Juniors –



Tuesday is the third day of the 2022 IIHF World Junior Championship, which is being held in Edmonton and Red Deer, Alberta.

Day 2 results

Finland 7, Austria 1

Russia 4, Switzerland 2

Germany 2, Czechia 1 (OT)

Sweden 3, Slovakia 0

What We Learned on Day 2

Wallstedt feeling confident

Jesper Wallstedt (Minnesota Wild) turned in a performance for the ages with 48 saves for Sweden (2-0-0-0) in a 3-0 win against Slovakia at WP Centrium in Red Deer.

Wallstedt, selected No. 20 in the 2021 NHL Draft, is 2-0-0 with a 1.50 goals-against average and .961 save percentage in two games for Sweden.

“If we’re going to have a shot at this, he has to be an important component for us and he really showed that [against Slovakia],” Sweden coach Tomas Monten said.

Wallstedt is 9-8-0 with a 1.82 GAA, .923 save percentage and two shutouts in 17 games with Lulea of the Swedish Hockey League, the top professional men’s league in Sweden.

He said off-ice training has helped improve his overall game.

“I credit my quick feet and my conditioning,” Wallstedt said. “It didn’t look like that at the end of the game because I was a little tired, but I felt like I had more in me. I felt like I was in good position when the shots were about to come.”

Wallstedt said he’s been in close contact with the Wild in regard to his future.

“We’ve spoken about my game and what it takes to develop into an NHL goalie one day,” he said. “My biggest focus is what I can do in Lulea right now, how to be a better goalie, a better player and better human every day. We’ll see after the season what happens, but right now my priorities are Lulea and Team Sweden.”

Finland’s dynamic trio

The line of Samuel Helenius (Los Angeles Kings) centering left wing Ville Koivunen (Carolina Hurricanes) and Brad Lambert (2022 NHL Draft eligible) has combined for 13 points (six goals, seven assists) in two wins for Finland.

“They have a good relationship, and they are good hockey players,” Finland coach Antti Pennanen said. “Brad Lambert is skillful and fast, Helenius wins the battles and Koivunen has good hockey sense, so it’s a really good combination.”

Koivunen had two goals and an assist in a 7-1 win against Austria in Group A at Rogers Place in Edmonton on Monday. Lambert, an A-rated skater on NHL Central Scouting’s players to watch list and a projected first-round pick, had a goal and two assists. Helenius had a goal and an assist. 

Lambert and Helenius are teammates with JYP in Liiga, the top professional league in Finland. Koivunen plays for Karpat in Liiga.

“Brad is very good with the puck and very good skating and Helenius is very big (6-foot-6, 201 pounds) and good at defending so I think we complement each other very good,” Koivunen said.

Goalie dilemma for Russia

Russia was not ready to reveal a starting goalie against Slovakia on Wednesday following a 4-2 win against Switzerland at WP Centrium in Red Deer on Monday.

Yegor Guskov (2022 draft eligible), who is making his World Juniors debut, made 16 saves for Russia (1-0-0-1) in its first win of the tournament. The 19-year-old made five saves in relief of Iaroslav Askarov (Nashville Predators), who made 13 saves on 16 shots in two periods, in a 6-3 loss against Sweden on Sunday.

“Guskov played a strong game but there were periods where he didn’t have a shot on net for five to 10 minutes and it was tough for him,” Russia coach Sergei Zubov said. “We appreciate his effort. He played a strong game for us.”

Guskov has a 3.05 goals-against average and .840 save percentage in two games for Russia.

“[Askarov] had a strong period but he could have played a little bit better on the third goal [against Sweden] so we decided to regroup, and we’ll make a decision for next game later on,” Zubov said.

Askarov, the No. 11 pick in the 2020 NHL Draft, is representing Russia a third straight year at World Juniors. He had a 2.71 GAA and .877 save percentage in five games at the 2020 WJC, and a 2.50 GAA and .914 save percentage in six games at the 2021 WJC.

On tap for Day 3

All games on NHL Network in U.S., TSN and RDS in Canada

Austria vs. Canada (7 p.m. ET) — What will defenseman Owen Power, the No. 1 pick by the Buffalo Sabres in the 2021 NHL Draft, do for an encore? On Sunday, he became the first Canada defenseman to score three goals in a game at the World Juniors in a 6-3 win against Czechia at Rogers Place in Edmonton. Austria (0-0-0-1) lost 7-1 to Finland in its tournament opener Monday, using a lineup featuring nine defensemen and 11 forwards.

Switzerland vs. United States, canceled — The game was canceled because of COVID-19 issues affecting the United States. According to IIHF policy, the game will be recorded as a 1-0 Switzerland victory.

Quick links

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Canada's Denis Shapovalov is on to the fourth round of the Australian Open – CP24 Toronto's Breaking News



The Canadian Press

Published Friday, January 21, 2022 7:28AM EST

Last Updated Friday, January 21, 2022 6:40PM EST

MELBOURNE, Australia — Canada’s Denis Shapovalov has a spot in the fourth round of the Australian Open for the first time in his career.

He beat Reilly Opelka 7-6 (4), 4-6, 6-3, 6-4 on Friday to set up a showdown with third-seeded Alexander Zverev of Germany.

The Canadian has been pushed hard at Melbourne Park, averaging three hours 37 minutes of court time per win so far.

“I’ve gotten very familiar with the ice baths the last week,” Shapovalov said with a smile in an on-court interview. “We’ve become very good friends.”

At six foot 11 and 225 pounds, Opelka is an imposing force on the court. He had a 17-10 edge in aces on the 14th-seeded Shapovalov but made 46 unforced errors.

“Early on I actually found a rhythm on his serve,” Shapovalov said. “I was able to chip quite a lot back, so I was happy with that. I think I did a really good of just taking the chances today.

“Obviously it’s really tough to get the rhythm against a guy like that so I’m super happy.”

It was the first career meeting between Shapovalov and the 23rd-seeded American. Zverev, meanwhile, has a 4-2 edge in head-to-head matchups against the Canadian.

“Hopefully I can win,” Zverev said. “It’s going to be a great match.”

Shapovalov, from Richmond Hill, Ont., previously reached the third round at Melbourne Park in 2019 and 2021. The 22-year-old’s best Grand Slam performance was a semifinal showing last year at Wimbledon.

Zverev defeated Maldova’s Radu Albot 6-3, 6-4, 6-4 in third-round play.

“Radu is in great form right now … 1/8I’m 3/8 happy to be through in three sets,” Zverev said.

Ninth-seeded Felix Auger-Aliassime of Montreal was scheduled to play Britain’s Daniel Evans in third-round play Saturday.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Jan. 21, 2022.

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Defense trade targets for the Maple Leafs, Sheldon Keefe's "soft" comment, and how many games should Petr Mrazek start the rest of the way? – MLHS Podcast Episode 38 – Maple Leafs Hot Stove



Founded in 2008, Maple Leafs Hotstove (MLHS) has grown to be the most visited independent team-focused hockey website online (Quantcast).
Independently owned and operated, MLHS provides thorough and wide-ranging content, varying from news, opinion and analysis, to pre-game and long-form game reviews, and a weekly feature piece entitled “Leafs Notebook.”
MLHS has been cited by: ESPN, Sports Illustrated, CBC News, USA Today, Fox Sports, Yahoo! Sports, NBC Sports, TSN, Sportsnet, Grantland, CTV News, CBSSports, The Globe & Mail, The National Post, The Toronto Star, The Toronto Sun, Global News, Huffington Post, and many more.

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Tennis-‘I’m not God! Can’t win every match’ – Osaka proud despite early exit



Naomi Osaka was at peace with herself after yet another failed attempt at defending a Grand Slam title at the Australian Open and the former world number one was especially proud of the way she has managed to mould her mindset to deal with tough losses.

The former world number one crashed out from Melbourne Park after a third round loss in the deciding set tiebreaker to American Amanda Anisimova — the same stage the four-times major winner exited the U.S. Open four months back.

Following the Flushing Meadows defeat, a tearful Osaka told a news conference that she was taking a break from the sport, raising more concern about her mental health struggles that forced her to miss parts of the tennis season.

The soft spoken and self-confessed introvert declared at the start of the 2022 season that she was looking to have more fun on court and enjoy playing the sport.

“I would definitely say I’m proud of myself for this,” the Japanese player told reporters on Friday. “Though to me it didn’t feel like a short amount of time. It felt like ages ago.

“This for me is the biggest step. Even though I lost. I was really focused throughout the entire match, and I didn’t have a dip. So that’s really good. Hopefully as the season continues, I’ll be able to keep this up, and get even better at it.”

It was the fourth time that Osaka had failed to defend a Grand Slam title but on Friday she held two matchpoints against the American – something that also made her proud.

Osaka felt her defeat by 60th-ranked Anisimova showed the depth of women’s tennis.

“I fought for every point. I can’t be sad about that,” Osaka said, adding that she was yet to decide on her schedule before the WTA 1000 event in Indian Wells in March.

“I’m not God! I can’t win every match. The last match that I played in New York I think I had a completely different attitude.

“Of course I lost, but I’m happy with how it went. I just want to go into this year knowing that I’ll play the whole year and I’ll just have the greatest attitude ever.”


(Reporting by Sudipto Ganguly; editing by Christian Radnedge)

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