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Live: Sweden-Czech Republic

LEWISTON -- The press seating was nearly filled an hour before game time at Dwyer Arena as Sweden commands an audience.

The Swedes are second in Group B, three points behind an in idle Team Canada today. They face the Czech Republic which is 1-1 and in third place in Group B.

Patrick Cehlin of Sweden ranks fifth in the IIHF World Junior Championship tournament scoring list with four points and is the first non-Canadian on the list.

Check back for updates throughout the game.

Final: Sweden wins, 6-3. The win brings the Swedes in a tie for first place with Canada in Group B. Canada and Sweden face off Friday at 4 p.m. in HSBC Arena.

Third period

4:51: Puck drop! Sweden has 1:34 of power play time remaining to start the period.

14:12 left: Sweden takes a 6-3 lead on a goal by Calle Jarnkrok after the Czech Republic had some good scoring chances to open the period.

Second period

3:56 p.m.: Puck drop!

15:01 left: With good pressure, solid skating and effective screens in front of the net, Sweden takes a 4-1 lead on a goal by Sebastian Wannstrom.

14:18 left: Another power play tally for the Swedes, and the second goal of the game for Fasth, makes it a 5-1 game. Sweden is now 3 for 4 on the power play today.

11:53 left: Don't count the Czechs out just yet. A strong rush into the Sweden zone resulted in a goal for Martin Frk, cutting the Swede's lead to 5-2.

5:09 left: Frk scores again, this time on the power play with a clear shot just inside in the blue line, to make it a 5-3 game.

End of the second: Sweden leads, 5-3. The Swedes will start the second with 1:34 left on a power play.

First period

3:07 p.m.: Game on!

16:51 left: Czech Republic takes a 1-0 lead thanks to a power play goal by Michal Hlinka, who tipped in a bouncing puck to the right of the Sweden goaltender. 

14:07 left: Sweden evens the game on its first power play on a goal by Johan Larsson. Czech goaltender Marek Mazanec made the initial save but lost sight of the rebound to his left.

9:41 left: Still 1-1 thanks to some great saves from Czech goalie Mazanec who kept Sweden off the board on their last power play.

4:01 left: Give a talented offensive team like Sweden power play opportunities and they will cash in. With good puck movement, the Swedes kept solid pressure on the Czechs with Max Friberg getting the goal for a 2-1 lead. Sweden is now 2-for-3 on the power play.

2:51 left: Get the puck on net and good things happen, even if it goes off a skate. Jesper Fasth's goal gives the Swedes a 3-1 lead.

End of the first: Sweden leads, 3-1.

--- Amy Moritz

Canada's Schwartz has broken ankle

Canadian forward Jaden Schwartz will miss the rest of the World Juniors with a broken ankle. Team Canada coach Dave Cameron confirmed that diagnosis Thursday afternoon in his meeting with the media at HSBC Arena.

Schwartz was hurt during Canada's 7-2 win over the Czech Republic. He initially left the game in the first period, though he later returned and scored a power-play goal to give his team a 2-1 lead.

Canada, of course, will also be without Sabres draft pick Zack Kassian for Friday's showdown against Sweden. Kassian will be serving the second game of his two-game suspension for a hit to the head of Czech defenseman Petr Senkerik on Tuesday.

Cameron also said that defenseman Calvin de Haan and forward Cody Eakin, both of whom missed Wednesday's 10-1 win over Norway, will return to the lineup against the Swedes.

We'll have a separate blog post up with audio from Cameron, Schwartz and Sabres draft pick Marcus Foligno.

---Jay Skurski

Audio: Canada and Norway coaches discuss game

Here is post-game audio of Canada coach Dave Cameron and Norway counterpart Geir Hoff following the Canadians' 10-1 win Wednesday night at HSBC Arena.

---Miguel Rodriguez 

Audio: Kassian surprised he received a one-game suspension

Sabres prospect and Team Canada power forward Zack Kassian spoke with the Buffalo News late Wednesday night following the Canadians' 10-1 rout of Norway.

He expected to miss that game after he receiving a five-minute match penalty for a hit to the head, game misconduct and automatic one-game suspension following a thunderous hit that KO'd Czech Republic defenseman Petr Senkerik in Tuesday's win over the Czechs. He was a little shocked IIHF Single Disciplinary Judge Dan Marouelli added an additional game to the penalty.

That means he'll miss Canada's heavyweight matchup with Sweden on Friday in a game that will likely determine which tournament favorite receives a bye into the medal-round semifinals.

Kassian appeared to accidentally hit Senkerik in the jaw while hitting him an instant just after he made a pass. Marouelli in a press release cited that the reason for the additional game is as follows.

"The IIHF has very specific rules regarding dangerous hits. These are not limited just to the head but to the neck area as wekk, which is defined by that part of the body above the collarbone and shoulder pads (i.e. unprotected areas)."

Here is audio of the interview with Kassian, who was one of three regulars out of the lineup Wednesday. The other two, forward Jaden Schwartz and defenseman Calvin de Haan, were scratched due to injuries.

---Miguel Rodriguez



Live from the World Junior Championship

We're a few minutes away from puck drop here at HSBC Arena for Canada's clash with Norway. Canada is a heavy favorite, as expected, heading into the game against a team that needed to win the lesser version of the tournament in order to qualify for this year's top division of the world championship.

Third period

9:18 p.m.: Puck drop.

16:29 left: Popular belief heading into this game was that Canada goalie Mark Visentin, making his first start of the tournament, wouldn't be too busy. He has faced 27 shots, although only a few high quality ones. Goal he gave up was one he'd probably like to have back.

6:18 left: Canada has had some chances in this period as even though they're not going full throttle- a by product of the difference in skill level between the two teams. Shots 36-31 Canada.

3:25 left: Canada is still trying. Schenn lays out and knocks in rebound in front of the net for his fourth goal of the game. Canada leads, 8-1.

2:42 left: Will they reach double-digits? Sean Couturier scores. Canada leads, 9-1.

1:14 left: Potential 10th goal disallowed as refs rule net knocked off before puck crossed goal line, prompting Canadian fans to boo.

29.0 left: They get to cheer one more goal as Gudbranson scores for his second of the game. Canada leads, 10-1.

Final: Canada wins, 10-1. Canada outshoots Norway, 43-32.

Second intermission update

Zack Kassian watching from the press box and ushered out by Team Canada official, declining interview request, although he did say on the record the apple he was eating while waiting for the elevator "is delicious."

Second period

8:30 p.m.: Puck drop.

19:16 left: Hats off to Schenn, he nets his third of the game. Canada leads, 7-1.

8:33 left: Canada at this point has kind of taken the foot off the gas although Norway's Volden made a fine glove save on Connolly's breakaway chance.

End of second: Canada is now outshooting Norway, 29-23. At this point, Canada is just trying to get out of the game healthy and is playing as such.

First period

7:38 p.m.: Puck drop.

18:19 left: Four crushing hits within a 40-second span by the Canadians, including one by Marcus Foligno.

17:59 left: That didn't take long. Canada scores the first of what could be many goals with Casey Cizikas finishing off a 2-on-0 pass from Brett Connolly after a Norweigan defenseman lost an edge and turned the puck over in his own zone. Canada leads, 1-0.

15:10 left: Brayden Schenn gets his second goal of the tournament and event leading eighth point. Canada leads, 2-0.

9:15 left: Erik Gudbranson's screen shot from the point finds the net. Canada leads, 3-0.

6:33 left: Louis LeBlanc scores on a wrap-around. Canada leads, 4-0.

6:25 left: Rasmus Juell's shot hits Mark Visentin's glove and trickles in to break the shutout. Canada leads, 4-1.

5:26 left: Canada chases Norway goalie Steffen Soberg as Schenn's wrister from the left circle caps a three goals in 1:07 sequence. Canada leads, 5-1.

2:00 left: Foligno's change up along the ice fools Norway goalie Lars Volden. Canada leads, 6-0.

End of first: Canada leads 6-1. It's a blowout. Foligno didn't even really celerate his goal except for business as usual type of high five line going past the bench. If it's any consolation, Norway outshot the Canadians, 16-15.

---Miguel Rodriguez

Live: Finland-Germany

Finland and Germany will drop the puck at HSBC Arena for the first of two games on the IIHF World Junior schedule today.

Germany is still looking for its first win of the tournament after losing to Switzerland on Sunday and to Slovakia in overtime on Monday. The OT loss gives the Germans one point, putting them in last place of Group A.

Finland, meanwhile is in second place in Group A behind the United States. The Fins lost to the U.S. in overtime on Sunday then blanked the Swiss, 4-0, yesterday. Look for goaltender Joni Ortio to again anchor Finland as his 1.46 goals against average and 93.33 save percentage ranks sixth in the tournament. Joonas Nattinen has paced the Fins' offense with two goals in two goals

Check back for updates throughout the game.

FInal: Finland wins, 5-1.

Third period

5:19 p.m.: Puck drop!

16:32 left: And Germany is on the board. Tobias Rieder picked up a loose puck in the Finland zone and found himself alone in front of Ortio. A good deke Germany gets its first goal, but still trails, 4-1.

3:53 left: Add another goal for Finland, this one by Erik Haula, for a 5-1 lead.

Second period

4:28 p.m.: Puck drop! Germany begins the period with 1:06 left of a power play.

Goal correction: Officials changed the scoring on Finland's first-period goal, awarding the deflection to Joonas Nattinen.

13:37 left: Miikka Salomak picked up a loose puck in the Germany zone, skated to the middle of the ice and fired a shot past Grubauer to give Finland a 2-0 lead.

6:13 left: It's now a 3-0 Finland lead as Joonas Donskoi drove home a puck played out in front after a good round of pressure from his teammates. The Fins are out-shooting Germany, 13-3 this period.

4:41: Finland leads 4-0 after a goal by Jesse Virtanen. Germany changes its goalie putting in Niklas Treutle.

End of the second: Finland leads, 4-0. Overall, they hold a 32-14 advantage in shots.

First period

3:39 p.m.: Puck drop! The stands are woefully empty for this game with a healthy amount of red in the stands as Team Canada fans are getting their game-on early. Canada plays Norway at 7:30.

10:20 left: Germany earns its second power play after Finland's Rasmus Rissanen was called for hitting from behind -- a two-minute power play with a 10-minute misconduct. The hit drew "oohs" from the sparse crowd. In the scoreless game robust choruses of "shoot it!" during power plays can be heard. I wonder if this is a trait unique to the North American fan or if other countries also heckle their own power play units.

4:01 left: Finland takes a 1-0 lead and advantage of a bouncing, deflecting puck. Tommi Kivisto took a shot from the point and Joel Armia redirected the puck past German goaltender Phillipp Grubauer.

End of the first: Finland holds a 1-0 lead. The period was rather even with the Fins holding a 13-10 advantage in shots. Germany had its chances, going 0-for-2 on the power play. They will start the second with 1:06 left on a power play from an interference call late in the period.

--- Amy Moritz

Swedish blogger's comments drawing heat

Move over Emerson Etem, now someone else is slamming Buffalo and annoying the more sensitive residents of our fair city.

Etem, of course, is the 18-year-old member of Team USA from Long Beach, California, who tweeted on Monday that Buffalo is a "ghost town" and the "worst city ever."

He apologized to reporters on Tuesday, and was rewarded with boos from the crowd at HSBC Arena for Tuesday night's game against Slovakia.

Now, Swedish hockey blogger Uffe Bodin is drawing heat for a post he wrote Monday calling Buffalo a vulgar, two-word term that could be defined as a "rudimentary toilet."

Bodin, who is in town to cover the junior tournament, begins by saying that his visit to Buffalo reminds him of the bleak city described in "[Excrement] Towne," a song by Live.

"Coming to Buffalo was like falling into a scene from the movie '28 Days Later' (minus all the zombies)," he wrote, according to a rough Swedish-to-English translation of the blog post on the site, as provided by Google Translate.

Technically, he only quotes a Finnish colleague who uses the vulgar term before going on to say if you take "one exit wrong" from the highway "you find yourself in a very, very, very scary ghetto."

This unnamed colleague compliments HSBC Arena as a "nice arena" but said downtown is a "ghost city" after 6 p.m. -- haunted by the spirit of William McKinley? -- and he would feel safer walking in Moscow at night.

Bodin goes on to joke that at least he hasn't been robbed or beaten up -- "yet" -- before saying in all seriousness that he has been treated well by everyone he's met here.

"Unlike in Sweden, all outgoing and social. One can easily start a conversation with a stranger without having to feel as Thomas Quick," he wrote. (Quick is an infamous Swedish serial killer, we learned.)

Naturally, as Buffalonians have picked up on this latest slur directed at our hometown, they've reached out to Bodin via Twitter to try to help him see the error of his ways.

-- Stephen T. Watson

Kassian suspension now includes Friday's game vs. Sweden

The IIHF today gave Canadian forward and Sabres prospect Zack Kassian an additional game suspension for his hit Tuesday night on Czech Republic forward Petr Senkerik.

Kassian was by rule suspended for tonight's game against Norway after receiving a match penalty for a hit to the head but IIHF judge Dan Marouelli determined the hit warranted an additional game. That means Kassian will miss Friday's marquee showdown against Sweden.

"We all looked at the hit and thought it was a little bit cleaner than they portrayed but at the same time Zack's a big boy. When [he] hits someone, it's going to end up in a rough cause but we heard the other guy was OK and that's what mattered most," fellow Sabres prospect and Kassian linemate Marcus Foligno said after learning the news.

On did Kassian's past, last year's 20-game suspension by the OHL, play a role in the additional game:

"All I know is the IIHF comes down harder on head shots," Foligno said. "That's what I've learned in this tournament. ... Kassian's hit --- I don't really know what the difference was with some other head shots that they've had in earlier games. I know there were two head shots in the first game between Germany and Switzerland."

Below is audio of Foligno from this morning's pre-game session with the media at Team Canada's hotel. The Canadians canceled their morning skate before tonight's clash with Norway.

IIHF also announced Slovakia’s Marek Marincin will sit out a three-game suspension for his hit to the head and neck area on U.S.A. forward Jason Zucker with 7:51 left in the third period of Tuesday night's game. Slovakia’s Peter Hrasko was given two games for his hit to the head and neck area on American forward Jerry D’Amigo.

Marcus Foligno:

--Miguel Rodriguez

Etem on booing: 'I had a blast'

The folks in Western New York showed no mercy on Buffalo-basher Emerson Etem, who was booed throughout Team USA's 6-1 victory over Slovakia. He was jeered loudest after scoring. He noticed.

"Yeah, of course, it’s loud and you can definitely hear it," Etem said. "It’s all fun. It’s a hockey town, so it’s expected, but I had a blast out there.

"It didn’t affect my play, it didn’t affect the team’s play. That’s most important. The guys just came together, and it was a hard-fought win."

Etem figures there's one way to turn the fans in his favor.

"Just keep on playing how I was playing, along with the rest of the guys," he said. "I think if we keep rolling like this, we should be good."

U.S. coach Keith Allain was impressed by Etem's ability to play through the boos.

"I thought he played all right," Allain said. "He scored a goal. He dealt with it. As athletes you deal with things if you want to be successful."

Allain was "extemely" disturbed by Martin Marincin's third-period head shot on Jason Zucker, who was assisted off the ice looking dazed by the elbow.

"It was a vicious, dirty hit," Allain said.

---John Vogl

Audio: Canada's Kassian on hit, ejection

Team Canada's Zack Kassian, who was ejected with a five-minute match penalty for a hit to the head in today's Canada-Czech Republic matchup in HSBC Arena, addressed the play after the game:

Click here to download the audio and take it with you

Kassian, with his shoulder, hit Czech forward Petr Senkerik with 14:07 remaining in the second period of Canada's 7-2 victory. Senkerik dropped immediately to the ice, motionless and was wheeled off on a stretcher.

Senkerik remained in the Czech dressing room.

A few times zones away, Sabres coach Lindy Ruff said he saw "one quick replay" of the play and had no immediate comment.

Here is a link to TSN's video of the hit.

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