No. 1 Star: Kristers Gudlevskis, Latvia
There should be a holiday in Latvia celebrating the epic performance of goaltender Kristers Gudlevskis against Canada. The 23 year-old netminder - and property of the Tampa Bay Lightning - stopped 55 of 57 shots in what many expected to be a lopsided affair. He gave Canada quite a scare taking a 1-1 game into the final minutes of the third period. Shea Weber finally got a hellfire missile past him winning the 2-1 game for a relieved Canadian nation.
Team Canada GM Steve Yzerman can go back to being proud of himself for drafting Gudlevskis as GM of the Lightning now that Canada has advanced.
No. 2 Star: Teemu Selanne, Finland
Just another highlight moment in the career of Teemu Selanne. The 103 year-old Finn scored the game winner against Russia, knocking the host country out of the tournament. Selanne has clicked with Wild forward Mikael Granlund; each player provided an assist on the other one's goal.
Finland now moves on to face the perfect-record Swedes in a rematch of sorts of the 2014 World Junior Championships. The little Finns beat the little Swedes in one of the best games of the year.
No. 3 Star: David Backes, United States
The guy does pretty much everything. Somehow he managed provide an assist that gets Dustin Brown to score. Next he scores a beautiful goal sending the puck in a tiny space between the goalie's catching glove and leg-pad; it was eventually deemed the game winner. In the center position, a position the US was considered weak at, he was 10-4 (71%) on the face-off dot. As if that's not enough, he and his wife are saving stray dogs in Sochi.
Honorable mention: Ryan Suter had three assists in Team USA's 5-2 win against the Czech Republic ... Drew Doughty assisted on Shea Weber's GWG; he now leads the Canadian team in scoring with six points, Weber is second with five ... Tuukka Rask made 37 saves against Russia ... Henrik Lundqvist only needed to make 16 saves to get the shut-out against Slovenia ... Loui Eriksson, Erik Karlsson and Carl Hagelin earned two points each for Sweden; Karlsson leads all defensemen in tournament scoring.
Did you know? Captain America Zach Parise didn't earn his first point of the tournament until today when he scored a power play goal.
Dishonorable mention: Czech goalie Ondrej Pavelec was pulled after giving up four goals on 12 shots ... Canada's John Tavares is out of the tournament with a leg injury ... Russia started the game with Semyon Varlamov in net. He gave up three goals on 15 shots in 26:42 minutes before being replaced by Sergei Bobrovsky; Bobrovsky stopped all seven shots from the Finns ... Alex Ovechkin was the only Russian player to stop and talk with the media after the country's painful loss to Finland, and then he was promptly thrown under the bus by his coach.
- Sports & Recreation
- Ice Hockey
- Teemu Selanne
- Tampa Bay Lightning
- Kristers Gudlevskis
- Shea Weber