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World Junior Summer Showcase: Canada vs Finland

The World Junior Showcase continued today with a pair of games.

The first matchup saw Finland take on a consolidated Team Canada roster. Yesterday’s action saw two different Canada squads with very different results with Team Red losing 8-2 to Team USA White and Team Canada White beating Team USA Blue 2-1.

Today’s Canada roster featured two Canucks prospects with Kole Lind and Jonah Gadjovich flanking Cliff Pu on the second line.

Team Canada’s roster was as follows:

The Finnish roster was as follows:

Just a reminder, Canucks prospect Olli Juolevi is not at camp as Team Finland wants him to focus on off-season training and has already participated in two World Juniors. If he is available to Finland in December, he will be there.

First Period

It was a fairly back and forth affair to start the game until New Jersey Devils prospect Michael McLeod turned over the puck at the red line to Jerry Turkulainen.

It was a low percentage play that led to the goal, but Canada rebounded nicely and settled in. Canucks prospects Kole Line and Jonah Gadjovich were noticeable, generating some shots but no high danger chances.

Canada was struggling to keep possession of the puck and were making plays that were resulting in turnovers. Rust was clearly apparent as they slowly got their feet under them. Like yesterday, it’s a lot of players who haven’t played together before trying to figure each other out. Over the course of the period, they slowly started making crisper plays and creating transition.

With over 16 minutes gone in the period, Nashville Predators prospect defenceman Samuel Girard forced a turnover at Canada’s blue line and chased after it. He recovered it, looped around the net and had a couple lucky bounces off the Finnish defencemen.

Lind and Gadjovich are the two players in front, forcing the scramble. It was obviously some lucky bounces but good to see the two go right to the net. Girard did have some defensive lapses throughout the period, but showed well on this play.

Shortly after that, Lightning prospect Taylor Raddysh finished off the nice passing play to put Canada up 2-1.

There were no penalties in the first frame and the shots were tied at 7.

Second Period

Before the ice was even dry, Finland took advantage of a faceoff in the Canadian zone. Just 20 seconds into the period, Canadiens prospect Ikonen made the cheeky play before dishing over to Koivula.

Robin Salo took the first penalty of the game for Finland, with Canada being unable to capitilize. Salo redeemed himself shortly after:

The Finnish storm continued with Innala beating the Canadian defencemen and snapping it past Skinner.

Finland’s smaller forwards were showing a tenacity on the puck that caused Canada to turnover the puck. This allowed the Finn’s to create chances out of what seemed like nothing.

Canucks prospect Jonah Gadjovich with the big hit on Calgary Flames first round pick Juuso Valimaki in the latter parts of the second period. If Gadjovich is going to secure a role with Team Canada in Buffalo this winter, he will need to keep doing what he is doing today. Be physical, drive the net, and be responsible all three zones.

Team Canada doesn’t have too many spots open, but a physical presence like Gadjovich would be something that they lack.

Edmonton Oilers goaltending prospect Dylan Wells took over the Canadian net at the midway point, relieving another Oilers prospect Stuart Skinner. Skinner made 7 saves on 11 shots in 29:23 of action.

Finland outshot Canada 11-8 in the middle frame. Both teams couldn’t capitalize on the powerplay with Canada going on 0/3 and Finland going 0/2 in the second period.

Third Period

The third started a little slow as Finland appeared to be slightly sitting back on the lead and Canada continued to be passive. They would collapse on their defensive coverage and lacked speed in their attacks. Canada displayed some undisciplined play for the first half.

The second half of the period was a different story – Canada started to push and looked to move in a cohesive unit on the ice, and the results quickly showed. Drawing penalties, which allowed them to capitalize

The very small prospect of the Calgary Flames, Phillips with the nice tip on the Mahura shot to cut the lead to 4-3. Shortly after that, Predators prospect Dante Fabbro’s point shot hits Robin Salo’s skate and in

47 seconds later, Tampa Bay prospect Brett Howden had a smart read on the point, forcing a turnover.  Dives to dish it over to Phillips, who does the quick stop behind the net and tucks it in

With 29 seconds left, Finland tied it at 5 to force OT:



  • Defenceman like Samuel Girard are a roller coaster of emotions. At times, he can appear lost in the defensive zone or overmatched and then the second half of the game happens. He is dominant with the puck, forcing his opponents to change lanes and structure and thus creating havoc. Nashville is setup for a long time on the backend and they have fantastic prospects like Fabbro and Girard coming.
  • Brett Howden is an intriguing prospect – he doesn’t do any one thing at an elite level but is a smart player who has a great work ethic. He was instrumental in the Canadian comeback. He is someone to watch in the coming years.
  • Canada needs to get back to playing up tempo games. Their passive plays leads to be dominated and looking lost. As soon as they turned up the speed, the game tilted.
  • In my opinion, the goaltending for Canada will be Carter Hart and one of the other three. Stuart Skinner has had some rough showings, while Dylan Wells and Canucks prospect Michael DiPietro have showed well. My guess is a Hart and DiPietro tandem in Buffalo this winter.
  • Canucks prospect Gadjovich continues to show well – being physical, driving the net, and contributing. His 4 SOG led Team Canada. I think there is a role for him on this team if he keeps it up.
  • Canada has two more games, so we will likely see Lind and Gadjovich at some point on Friday or Saturday.

The full stats for the contest can be found here.

  • wojohowitz

    I really like Gadjovich`s game. He plays like he wants to accomplish something on every shift and he really wants to impress the coach.

    Not so much with Lind. He`s got the talent but not the determination to succeed. Like many young players he`s too much of a one man show skating into traffic and losing the puck. As of right now I don`t see him making the WJC. Against top level competition he needs to learn to grind (compete) use his team mates and to win puck battles. The best comparison I can think of right now is McCann – the talent is there but not the determination.

  • Spiel

    Many times the offensive players in junior and college don’t stand out in a more competitive environment where all the players are more skilled and better than what they see on regular basis in league play.
    Gadjovich looks like he knows what is role will be at higher levels of play and that is to play a hard game. Teams still need that.
    BTW, did Canucks Army favorite Nick Suzuki ever look foolish on the 2nd goal by the Finns? Caught napping on the faceoff.