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Photo Credit: Image: Hockey Canada / Twitter

Ivan Hlinka Memorial Cup: Day 2

Day two of the Ivan Hlinka Memorial Tournament is in the books with Canada and the USA rebounding nicely after disappointing losses yesterday.

Sweden and Russia dominated the two host countries (The Czech Republic and Slovakia), with the Sweden and The Czech Republic being a particularly feisty affair.

Some of the players that stood out yesterday, like Adam Boqvist, had strong showings but some other players had an impact on the scoresheet.

Scores from today:

  5 1
  2 1
  7 3
  9 3

There were some Russian players who played well today, but it’s hard to take anything away from the drubbing of Slovakia.

 

D Ryan Merkley (Canada)

Smooth skating Ryan Merkley had a two assist performance today to give him three assists in two games. The 5’11” and 165 lbs, 16-year-old defender is coming off a 55 point performance in 62 games for the Guelph Strom.  He play this tournament has been notable as he has been able to showcase what he does so well which is his ability to skate with the puck, control the powerplay and create transition.

Canada went 3 for 7 with the man advantage today.

There are some concerns about his defensive play but so far he has been good for Team Canada. He’s an exciting prospect for the 2018 NHL Entry Draft because of his extremely high ceiling and potential.

There will be some risk to his game as he continues to develop but his offensive instincts are so good that you will have to overlook those defensive deficiencies.

F Samuel Fagemo (Sweden)

The 5’11” and 195 lbs winger was noticeable in Sweden’s win over the Czech Republic, opening the scoring for the Swedes.

He tallied another goal in the middle frame.

Fagemo used his speed and physicality to pressure the Czech defence into making mistakes. This after a two goal performance against the USA yesterday.  His ability to get on the forecheck and cause havoc is what sets him apart from his Swedish counterparts.

His line with Jacob Olofsson and Carl Jakobsson were noticeable throughout the entire game today.

He is currently expected to play for Frolunda J20 team next year, but could put himself in a position to get some games in the SHL.

He will be too old for the U18 World Juniors in April, so this is his chance to make a name for himself on the international stage during his draft season and so far, so good.

F Jack McBain (Canada)

Another Canadian that continues his strong play is forward Jack McBain. The left handed centre had a goal yesterday against Russia, and then followed that up with another goal today

Measuring in at 6’3″ and 185 lbs, McBain is going to dominate the OJHL this upcoming season before heading to Boston College for the 2018-19 season. The son of former NHL’r Andrew McBain, Jack is a big powerful skater who is hard to contain and should continue to be in the conversation as a mid first round pick throughout the entire season. He will need to add a couple of extra steps to make it at the next level but there is a lot to like about him. His performance so far is a perfect showcase of what he can be at the professional level.

F Karel  Plasek (Czech Republic)

Despite the lopsided loss to the Swede’s today, Karel Plasek had a good day potting two goals in a losing cause. His first showcasing his speed:

The bobble by the Swedish defenceman and he’s gone to races. A nice move and it’s in the back of the net. His second goal showed some patience and awareness as he poked the puck out of the fray to give himself an open net:

Plasek was a standout for his speed and great finish today, he has done well for a few years in the Czech junior leagues and on the international stages – if he can continue to impress, he can increase his stock enough to be a good mid round bet for a team.

Standings

Image: Ivan Hlinka

Schedule for tomorrow

 Local Time  PT
     15:30  6:30 AM
     15:30  6:30 AM
     19:00  10:00 AM
     19:00  10:00 AM

Tomorrow is the last day of the ’round robin’ format of facing each team in your division once. After that it is single elimination playoff games.