The battle of Vasili Podkolzin vs Arvid Costmar at the World Juniors did not disappoint

Vancouver Canucks fans were in for a treat on Wednesday night as their two World Junior Championship participants were in action against each other.

Both Vasili Podkolzin and Arvid Costmar did not disappoint in this one. After 20 minutes of play, both players had registered a point for their team.

Let’s get to the highlights.

The two Canucks players got involved with each other early on as Costmar held onto Podkolzin a little too long which rubbed Podkolzin the wrong way, as he swung his stick at Costmar in anger after the tie up.

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On the very first shift of the game, it looked like Podkolzin’s drive to the net resulted in a goal for Russia but the goal was waved off due to goaltender interference by Podkolzin. After that goal was waved off, it was Costmar who stepped up to the plate as he found a weak spot in the Russian defence.

Costmar played the puck along the boards before getting in front of the net and swinging at the puck out of the air past Yaroslav Askarov to tie the game up at one apiece with just over five minutes left in the first period.

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Costmar got the goal but Podkolzin got the last laugh as he set up the go-ahead goal to end the first period. He came flying across the crease to receive the puck and then kept his head up and made a beautiful pass to set up a power play goal for Russia.

After the confidence boost from the Austria game, it looked like Podkolzin had turned his game up a notch, or 10. He was driving the net more often and continued to make great passes throughout the first period.

It was nice to see him have some confidence in his own abilities after looking timid in the first two games of the tournament. He was looking like a leader in this game and the scrum with Costmar may have ignited that flame within Podkolzin.

Russia controlled the pace of play in the first period as they had Sweden on their heels for a majority of the first 20 minutes of play. Costmar and Podkolzin were both noticeable for their team’s in the first period and were rewarded with a point apiece. Podkolzin was the best player on the ice in the first 20 minutes as he had been since the puck dropped in that Austria game.

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Podkolzin was relatively quiet in the second period of play but Costmar picked up the noise in the second stanza.

Costmar went into rat-mode as he usually does, early in the period he had a funny little altercation in the faceoff dot.

He’s annoying as heck to play against in the SHL and I was wondering how he could translate that type of play to a much more strict World Junior Championships. At the end of the period, it was much of the same as he drew a penalty to give Sweden their fifth power play opportunity of the game.

Not only was Costmar drawing penalties, but he was also getting a chance to score with the man advantage. He had moved his way onto the second power play unit for Sweden and was being used in the centre of the ice bumper position. He had a couple of good chances in the second period that really belonged to team Sweden.

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Sweden tied the game up 2-2 in the period and that’s where we sat going into the third period. They outshot Russia 17-7 in the period and wanted to carry that momentum into the third.

As for Podkolzin’s second period, he was effective on the penalty kill and had a good scoring chance in the first few seconds of the middle frame. Russia didn’t generate much for offence in the period but Podkolzin was still effective when the opportunity arose.

On a side note, Elias Pettersson showed that he was keeping tabs on Podkolzin and his countryman Costmar as he kicked his feet up for some World Junior action.

So with a 2-2 tie, we were off to the third period. Sweden’s 54-game preliminary win streak was once again on the line in what was turning out to be the best game of the tournament so far.

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Russia broke the 2-2 tie with 10:14 remaining in the third period when they scored on a power play. Podkolzin was on the ice for the goal but did not register a point on the goal. He drew quite a bit of attention with the man advantage and it opened up plenty of room for the Russian shooters on the power play.

Costmar had a couple of scoring chances in the period as he was all around the puck in Wednesday’s game. He had some wild one-timer attempts on the power play and was around the net for a few chances throughout the game. He rang one off the crossbar with just two minutes remaining in the third period before looking to the heavens.

Canucks Twitter had some fun with it.

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Sweden tied the game up at three with exactly one minute remaining in the third period when a shot bounced off of Noel Gunler’s shin pad.

We were off to overtime in what was turning out to be a WJC game to remember.

As the extra frame was coming to an end, Costmar took a penalty and the Russians went to work. They scored their third power play goal of the game and put an end to Sweden’s incredible win streak. Podkolzin was on the ice for Russia when the power play goal was scored but he did not register a point on the goal.

I know this is CanucksArmy and it could sound a bit bias but Arvid Costmar and Vasili Podkolzin were the most impactful players for each team in this game.

Costmar went full rat mode at times in this game and annoyed the heck out of the Russians at times in the game. He also had multiple scoring chances and scored the first goal for Sweden. The penalty that he took in overtime was a tough look in what otherwise was an outstanding game for the Canucks’ 2019 seventh-round pick.

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On the other end of the ice, Vasili Podkolzin was excellent once again for Russia. He drove the net against the strong Swedish defence and his playmaking was elite as per usual. He drew so much attention from the Swedish team in the offensive zone and it opened up more scoring chances for his linemates throughout the game.

All in all, it was a great showing for the two Canucks prospects, they both stepped up their game in the spotlight and boosted their hype trains that were already picking up steam in this tournament.