International Ice Hockey Federation

Finnish U18 sharp

Finnish U18 sharp

Win Five Nations on home ice

Published 18.02.2016 09:13 GMT-5 | Author Jeremy Darke
Finnish U18 sharp
The Finnish players celebrate a goal at the 2015 IIHF Ice Hockey U18 World Championship in Switzerland. Photo: Francois Laplante / HHOF-IIHF Images
With just two months until the beginning of the U18 World Championship in Grand Forks, USA, five of the ten participating nations met in Rauma, Finland.

It was taking part in what will be the last practice run before the U18 Worlds in Grand Forks, USA. Finland utilized its home-ice advantage winning the Five Nations Tournament in what was overall a very tight competition.

The Finns came back from a 1-0 first period deficit against Russia, in their opening match, to eventually go up 3-1 mid-way through the second, which proved to be enough to start their tournament with a 3-2 win with Eeli Tolvanen scoring the game winner for the home nation.

Finland also scraped by the Czech Republic in their second match of the tournament, holding off for 4-3 victory. The Finns raced out to a 3-0 lead in the first period with goals from Aapeli Rasanen, Eeli Tolvanen and Janne Kuokkonen. The Czechs replied with a goal from Radovan Pablik, early in the second but just 39 seconds later Mikael Hakkarainen scored the eventual game winner. The Czechs pushed hard in the third and reduced the margin but it was just too little too late.

USA, made up from their centralized team from the National Team Development Program, were the only team to defeat Finland during the Five Nations. USA’s Nick Pastujov broke a 2-2 tie with just two minutes remaining in the game to give his team a 3-2 victory. Finland took 32 shots to USA’s 18 throughout the game, but a standout performance by USA goaltender Joseph Woll denied the Finns the win.

Sweden had gone undefeated with wins against Czech (2-0), USA (3-2 GWS) and Russia (3-2 GWS) before they came up against Finland in what would be a winner-takes-all game between the two old rivals. After first-period goals to Aapeli Rasanen (Finland) and Tim Soderlund (Sweden) just 15 seconds apart the rest of the match went scoreless and into a penalty shoot-out. It was Sweden’s third game-winning-shot match in a row. Finland’s Aapeli Rasanen was the only man to score, winning the game 2-1 and the tournament for Finland.

The Vlado Dzurilla Tournament, named after legendary Slovakian goaltender Vladimir Dzurilla, was held over last weekend in Piestany, Slovakia at Easton Arena. It was the Swiss that continue to show that their youth development is on the rise, winning the tournament with wins against Germany (3-1) and Belarus (4-2) and penalty shoot-out loss to home nation Slovakia (2-1). Germany impressed, placing second, with victories over a winless Belarus (5-3) and third-place Slovakia (4-2).

German netminder Mirko Pantkowski was named the tournament’s best goaltender, while Switzerland’s Tobias Geisser was best defenceman and Slovakia’s Marian Studenic was the best forward.

The Minsk Cup was also played in Belarus, featuring the home nation, Norway, Latvia and Denmark. It was the Danes that were victorious going undefeated throughout the tournament, notching wins against Norway (5-1), Latvia (4-2) and a tournament decisive overtime win against Belarus (4-3) in their first game of the Cup. Denmark was led by Lucas Andersen with 7 points (1+6) and Joachim Blickfeld who topped the tournament with 4 goals.

Latvia had a disappointing tournament registering just 1 win against Belarus (3-2), finishing last in the tournament behind Belarus and Norway, who are Division I teams.

U18 Men’s Five Nations Tournament in Rauma, Finland  
10. Feb   Sweden - Czech Republic 2-0
10. Feb   Russia Finland 3-2
11. Feb   USA - Russia 0-3
11. Feb   Czech Republic  - Finland 3-4
12. Feb   Czech Republic - Russia 1-4
12. Feb   Sweden - USA 3-2 GWS
13. Feb   Finland - USA 2-3
13. Feb   Russia - Sweden 2-3 GWS
14. Feb   Finland  Sweden  2-1 GWS
14. Feb   USA - Czech Republic 5-2
Standings: 1. Finland 8, 2. Sweden 8, 3. Russia 7, 4. USA 7, 5. Czech Rep. 0
U18 Vlado Dzurilla Tournament in Piestany, Slovakia  
11. Feb   Germany - Switzerland 1-3
11. Feb   Slovakia - Belarus 7-4
12. Feb   Belarus - Germany 3-5
12. Feb   Slovakia - Switzerland 2-1 GWS
13. Feb   Switzerland - Belarus 4-2
13. Feb   Slovakia - Germany 2-4
Standings: 1. Switzerland 7, 2. Germany 6, 3. Slovakia 5, 4. Belarus 0 
U18 Minsk Cup in Minsk, Belarus      
11. Feb   Latvia - Norway 2-4
11. Feb   Belarus - Denmark 3-4 OT
12. Feb   Denmark - Latvia 4-2
12. Feb   Belarus - Norway 4-2
13. Feb   Norway - Denmark 1-5
13. Feb   Belarus - Latvia 2-3
Standings: 1. Denmark 8, 2. Belarus 4, 3. Norway 3, 4. Latvia 3


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