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New Year's Eve at the WJC

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The last day of action at the WJC settled the match ups for the quarterfinals which begin on Saturday, January 2.

Jukka Jalonen - Head coach of Team Finland
Jukka Jalonen - Head coach of Team Finland
Martin Rose/Getty Images

William Nylander

The Swedish team press officer, Anders Feltenmark, called a press conference for the afternoon today in Helsinki where William Nylander was supposed to be available to the press.

The international press assembled and were greeted by doctor PA Bergsten instead of Nylander. He explained that the Swedish team had decided to protect Nylander from the attention of a press conference. He provided no new information on Nylander's condition or the timetable for his return to play.

Russia: 2 Slovakia: 1

Russia put in their number 2 goalie, Alexander Georgiev, for their final game of the preliminary round. The game was decided on even-strength goals despite a fair number of penalties, and Russia had the edge in shots and on the scoreboard throughout.

Slovakia had a chance late in the third period to tie it up with a power play they couldn't convert on. They fell apart at the end, taking a bad penalty, and giving the win to the Russians on a plate.

Russia won Group B, going undefeated and will face Denmark in the quarterfinals. Slovakia had one win over Belarus and finished third in the pool and faces Sweden in the quarterfinals.

Denmark: 1 USA: 4

Recap at Eyes on the Prize

Denmark woke up a sleepy US team by scoring first. The US got the equalizer from Auston Matthews a few minutes later, and they dominated the rest of the game, outshooting the Danes 44-17.

Auston Mathew's line with Colin White and Mathew Tkachuk had two of the goals while Sonny Milano and Anders Bjork added the other two.

The US finished second in their group and will face the loser of the Finland-Czech Republic game in the quarterfinals. The Danes face the Russians.

Finland: 5 Czech Republic: 4

The reward for winning this game was a date with Canada in the quarterfinals. The loser gets the USA.

Finland dressed only 5 defencemen for the game and started the second without Vili Saarjärvi who was unwell. They were left with three forward lines with the rest of the forwards filling in on defence occasionally.

The Czechs, bolstered with the late addition of David Pastrnak, were a much tougher opponent than the Slovaks had been. The game was fast, exciting and closely fought throughout.

A scoreless first period gave way to a second where the teams traded goals. Finland got the go-ahead goal on the first power play of the game, and Kasperi Kapanen got an assist and his second point of the tournament. The Czech's tied it up in the dying seconds of the period on a goal by David Sklenicka.

The excitement continued in the third period with Pastrnak the difference maker for the Czechs. But at the end of the day, it was the top line of Sebastian Aho, Jesse Puljujärvi and Patrik Laine who were the offensive force in the game. Puljujärvi tied the game up with ten minutes left, and Laine got the game winner a few minutes later.

With one more game to go in the round robin, it's time to say Onnellista Uutta Vuotta for now.

Sweden: 5 Canada: 2

Alexander Nylander once again shone on a dangerous Swedish team that took advantage of its powerplay opportunities to defeat Canada 5-2. A penalty-filled first period allowed pressure and opportunities to pass firmly into the hands of the Swedes, who scored on their first two powerplays to deflate the Canadian team, on goals from Nylander and Gustav Forsling.

Despite Tampa Bay Lightning prospect Mitchell Stephens cutting the lead to 2-1 by the end of the first, and possession back in the hands of the Canadians, the goals were all Sweden's. This is in part due to the amazing work of Sweden's goaltender, Linus Soderstrom. No matter how good the looks, it felt as though Canada's offense couldn't find their way past his glove.

Tension mounted and the Canadians found themselves in the box again due to a penalty from Florida Panthers' prospect Lawson Crouse, and Sweden's Adrian Kempe scored yet another powerplay goal to make it 3-1. Seven minutes into the second, Canadian G Mackenzie Blackwood sent his rebound straight to Anton Karlsson to put Sweden up 4-1.

In the third, Mitchell Marner found the scoresheet for the Canadians on a 5-on-3 advantage, giving the team some hope and momentum to end the game, but even with the goaltender pulled, the Swedish PK remained fierce. An empty net goal from Rasmus Asplund sealed the Swedish victory.

Sweden's four wins give them 12 points, and they have a day of rest before facing Slovakia on Saturday. Canada will face Finland during the first elimination round.

A full game recap is at Habseyesontheprize.