On the final day of group play at the 2021 IIHF World Championship, both Winnipeg Jets prospects who are representing their countries at this prestigious tournament had everything to play for.
Both Cole Perfetti and Canada, and Leon Gawanke and Germany were battling to finish as one of the top four seeds in Group B which would book their ticket to the crossover and the single-elimination quarterfinals.
The scenario was simple for both of these teams, Canada needed a win in any fashion against Finland to advance and Germany just needed one point from their matchup against Latvia to go through.
If Canada lost, their only way of advancing through to the crossover is if their loss was in either overtime or a shootout and the Germany vs. Latvia game ended in regulation.
It was a crazy final day of round-robin play for the Winnipeg Jets prospects at the World Championship
In the first game of the day, Team Canada needed a victory against first placed, Finland. Canada scored right away in this matchup, as Brandon Pirri put Canada ahead 1-0 one minute and thirty seconds into the game.
Finland was able to answer at the opening stages of the second frame to tie the game at one. Seven minutes later, Maxime Comtois scored and put Canada ahead 2-1.
The teams traded chances throughout the second and into the third. Canada defended their lead well until Arttu Ruotsalinen was able to level the score at two with four minutes remaining in the contest.
Neither team found the back of the net in the remainder of regulation and the teams went scoreless in three-on-three overtime. Therefore, a shootout would decide this one.
Canada started the first round of the shootout by scoring and keeping Finland off the board. In the second round, Cole Perfetti did get a chance to shoot but was denied and Finland answered with a goal of their own.
Finland was able to score again in both the third and fourth rounds while holding Canada to one goal in those rounds to give them a 3-2 victory.
Since Canada lost, their hopes relied solely on the final game of the day featuring Germany and Leon Gawanke versus Latvia.
Germany started off this game with a bang. Within seven minutes of the opening puck drop, Germany was able to take a two-goal lead against Latvia, but after those goals, Latvia was able to weather the storm and held the deficit at two after one period.
Latvia was then able to answer and bring the deficit to one goal just over five minutes into the second period and that was the lone goal scored during the second frame.
For Germany and Canada fans, the third period was extremely intense. Germany was able to kill off two penalties and held on to their one-goal lead to win the game 2-1, which booked theirs and Canada’s places in the final eight of the tournament.
With Germany’s win, both Leon Gawanke and Cole Perfetti will be representing their respective countries in quarterfinal action at the world championship.
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Germany finished seeded third in Group B and will have a quarterfinal matchup against Switzerland, while Canada finished fourth in the group and will face Russia in the quarters.
All four quarterfinal games will be on Thursday, June 3. You can watch these games on TSN in Canada and the NHL Network in the United States.
Winnipeg Jets Fans: Do you think Canada and/or Germany will advance to the semifinals? Leave your comments below!
*All Stats and Videos Provided by the IIHF*