Red Wings draft pick Eemil Viro was plus-1 in Finland’s 5-3 victory over short-handed Germany on Friday night at the world junior hockey championship in Edmonton.
Viro, a 6-0, 165-pound defenseman who was one of three 2020 second-round draft picks, had two shots and 27 shifts in 19:31 of ice time.
Aku Raty, Henri Nikkanen, and Topi Niemela each had a goal and an assist for the Finns, who are seeking their sixth world junior gold medal of all time. They last triumphed in Vancouver (2019) on Kaapo Kakko’s late 3-2 winner versus the Americans.
Germany, which was missing nine players because of the coronavius, had only 14 skaters – nine forwards and five defensemen. Three players can return to the tournament Sunday and another five Tuesday, barring more positive tests.
Anton Lundell and Mikael Pyyhtia also scored for Finland in the Group A game. Tim Stutzle and Florian Elias each had a goal and assist for Germany.
Earlier in Group A, Slovakia beat Switzerland 1-0 on Roman Faith’s goal with 5:43 left. Simon Latkoczy made 28 saves, stopping Inaki Baragano with his glove on a late power play. Later Friday, the U.S. lost 5-3 to Russia. Captain Cam York of the University of Michigan had a goal and an assist for the Americans.
On Saturday, the United States will face Austria, and Sweden will play the Czech Republic in Group B. Canada will open its title defense against Germany in Group A.
World junior schedule
Friday, Dec. 25
Slovakia 1, Switzerland 0
Finland 5, Germany 3
Russia 5, United States 3
Saturday, Dec. 26
Czech Republic vs. Sweden, 2 p.m. ET
Canada vs. Germany, 6 p.m.
Austria vs. United States, 9:30 p.m.
Sunday, Dec. 27
Switzerland vs. Finland, 2 p.m.
Canada vs. Slovakia, 6 p.m.
Russia vs. Czech Republic, 9:30 p.m.
Monday, Dec. 28
Sweden vs. Austria, 6 p.m.
Germany vs. Slovakia, 9:30 p.m.
Tuesday, Dec. 29
Czech Republic vs. United States, 2 p.m.
Switzerland vs. Canada, 6 p.m.
Russia vs. Austria, 9:30 p.m.
Wednesday, Dec. 30
Slovakia vs. Finland, 2 p.m.
Germany vs. Switzerland, 6 p.m.
Sweden vs. Russia, 9:30 p.m.
Thursday, Dec. 31
Austria vs. Czech Republic, 2 p.m.
Finland vs. Canada, 6 p.m.
United States vs. Sweden, 9:30 p.m.
Saturday, Jan. 2
Quarterfinal 1, 12 p.m.
Quarterfinal 2, 3:30 p.m.
Quarterfinal 3, 7 p.m.
Quarterfinal 4, 10:30 p.m.
Monday, Jan. 4
Semifinal 1, 6 p.m.
Semifinal 2, 9:30 p.m.
Tuesday, Jan. 5
Third-place game, 5:30 p.m.
Championship game, 9:30 p.m.
Dach sidelined with wrist injury
Chicago Blackhawks forward Kirby Dach has been ruled out for the world junior championship after he hurt his right wrist during Canada’s exhibition victory over Russia on Wednesday night.
The Blackhawks said Dach was returning to Chicago for further evaluation.
Dach, who turns 20 on Jan. 21, was injured on what seemed like a harmless bodycheck in the neutral zone in the third period. After the hit, the Canada captain pulled off his glove, skated off the ice and went directly to the locker-room area in Edmonton.
Dach was selected by Chicago with the No. 3 pick in the 2019 draft. He had eight goals and 15 assists in 64 games during his rookie season with the Blackhawks.
Dach’s injury is another tough blow for rebuilding Chicago after it announced Wednesday that Alex Nylander, another young forward, could miss the entire 2021 season because of a left knee injury. Nylander had surgery Monday to repair a meniscus tear in his left knee.
No spectators at world juniors
A world junior men’s hockey championship like no other opens Friday with zero spectators and teams walled off from the general public because of the coronavirus pandemic.
The under-20 tournament at Edmonton’s Rogers Place is modeled on the NHL’s twin bubbles earlier this year that allowed the league to complete its season. Shorter in duration and with fewer people on hand, the 12-day, 10-nation tournament is still a major logistical undertaking for Hockey Canada and the host committee.
That it wasn’t canceled along with so many other International Ice Hockey Federation tournaments in 2020 indicates a determination to stage – and televise – live hockey despite a spike in local COVID-19 cases.
Hockey Canada vice president of events Dean McIntosh said the province has been “incredibly supportive.” Defending champion Canada opens play Saturday against Germany.
“We have an opportunity to give Canadians a gift here at Christmas time as well,” McIntosh said. “The holiday season, the tradition of the world juniors has been great.”