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2024 WORLD JUNIORS CHAMPIONSHIP – December 28th, 2024 – Game Reviews

GOTHENBURG, SWEDEN - DECEMBER 28: Jimmy Snuggerud #81 of USA celebrates his first period goal against Switzerland with teammate Rutger Mcgroarty #2 in Preliminary Round - Group B action at the 2024 IIHF World Junior Championship at Frolundaborg on December 28, 2023 in Gothenburg, Sweden. (Photo by Chris Tanouye/IIHF)

USA 11 - Switzerland 3

Will Smith opened the scoring just over a minute in, and Jimmy Snuggerud recorded a hat-trick to put the game out of reach while it was still in the first period in a game that six Americans recorded multipoint outings, led by a four-assist game by Frank Nazar. The Swiss were led offensively by Gregory Weber, who recorded a goal and an assist. The United States dominated, but Switzerland was able to generate some chances off the rush and the teams ended up playing a bit of a back and forth third period where each team scored twice.

Sweden 5 - Germany 0

Coming off one of the biggest wins in German world junior history yesterday against Finland, the Germans were able to keep Sweden off the scoreboard for most of the first period, but Otto Stenberg opened the scoring with a great shot off the rush. The second period was more of the same with Sweden outplaying the Germans but being unable to score until Mattias Hävelid converted with just over a minute left in the second to make it 2-0. The third period featured a few Swedish powerplays, and Otto Stenberg scored a couple to complete a hat trick. Noah Ostlund also got in on the scoring action, slipping one five-hole with 5:27 left.

Three Stars

#1 - Jimmy Snuggerud, USA

The first period of USA vs Switzerland was the Jimmy Snuggerud show, the St. Louis Blues prospect had five shots, and converted three times in the opening frame. Snuggerud showcased his ability to score in a variety of ways with a deadly wristshot from distance, but also being able to quickly grab rebounds and shovel them in. The American forward was also denied on a breakaway in the first period. He was held off the score sheet for the rest of the game, but it was already out of reach, which was largely due to the start that Snuggerud gave team USA. Snuggerud was a star in last year’s World Juniors, finishing third in tournament scoring with 13 points; he's up to five in two games so far this year.

#2 Zeev Buium, USA

On a roster littered with older, high-profile offensive defenceman like Lane Hutson and Seamus Casey, it was draft eligible blueliner Zeev Buium that stood out on Thursday. Not only did he contribute a goal and an assist, but he was executing and showcasing his creativity without turning the puck over. The opening goal for the United States was a fantastic individual effort by Buium followed by a perfectly places seam pass that was one-timed in. He led the team in ice time and was on the ice for seven American goals today. Buium has an excellent opportunity to raise his draft stock as the tournament progresses if he continues to impress.

#3 Otto Stenberg, Sweden

St. Louis Blues 2023 first rounder Otto Stenberg was a standout offensively today for team Sweden. He opened the scoring in the first period, and scored a big power-play goal midway through the third period with a one-timer from the bumper position to make it 3–0, then added a hat trick goal a couple minutes later. Stenberg, who plays for Frolunda, showed up in his home rink when Sweden needed goals in a game they were dominating, showcasing a dangerous shot and excellent puckhanding throughout the game. His three goals today match his season total with Frolunda so far this season.