As the Winnipeg Jets are taking on the Montreal Canadiens in the second round of the 2021 Stanley Cup Playoffs, two Winnipeg Jets prospects were playing in the quarterfinals at the IIHF World Championships in Latvia today.
After a crazy final day of round-robin play at the tournament on Tuesday, both prospects and their respective countries were able to book their tickets for the final eight. Leon Gawanke and Team Germany clinched their quarterfinal spot with a 2-1 win over Latvia, which also secured Cole Perfetti and Team Canada’s spot in the crossover.
Germany took on Switzerland in the earlier set of games today and this game was fantastic to watch.
Leon Gawanke of the Winnipeg Jets scored a clutch goal during Germany’s quarterfinal game
Germany played extremely well throughout this game, but Switzerland was able to capitalize on their chances and had a 2-0 lead with less than half the game remaining.
From that point on Germany threw everything they had at Switzerland’s net in an effort to climb back and level the game. Tom Kunhackl got Germany on the board in the final four minutes of the second period and Switzerland held onto a 2-1 lead heading into the third period.
Germany had many opportunities to equalize the scoreline in the final frame, but could not find a way to beat Leonardo Genoni.
Finally in the final minute of the game, with an empty net, Germany worked the puck around the offensive zone and threw the puck to the net.
A rebound found its way to Leon Gawanke at the point and he fired the puck past three defenders and into the back of the net to tie the game at two. The goal can be seen in the video below:
This was Gawanke’s first goal of the tournament and it could not have come at a better time. The game went into overtime and when neither team scored, the game required a shootout to decide a winner.
In the final fifth round of the shootout, Marcel Noebels scored the game-winner to give Germany a 3-2 win and advance them to the semifinals.
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Gawanke and Germany will continue their run for a gold medal on Saturday morning at 10:15 a.m. central time when they face off against Finland in the semifinals. In the other semifinal game, Cole Perfetti and Canada will take on the United States in a must-watch game.
You can watch both semifinal games on TSN in Canada and the NHL Network in the United States.
Winnipeg Jets Fans: Who do you think will advance to the finals? Leave your comments below!
*All Stats and Videos Provided by the IIHF*