Flyers

Future Flyers Report: World Junior Championships roundup

Future Flyers Report: World Junior Championships roundup

The World Junior Championships wrapped up Thursday night with the United States beating Canada, 5-4, in a shootout in the gold medal game for its fourth-ever gold. 

Now that the tournament is over, we’re providing another edition of the Future Flyers Report, from the quarterfinals and the medal rounds.

Tanner Laczynski, C, 6-1/191, Team USA
Laczynski walks away from the world juniors with a gold medal, and his story is quite impressive. He was not a lock to make Team USA, but impressed at camp in the summer and then worked his way onto the team at the evaluation camp.

His role with the U.S. was small — fourth-line center — but he played well in that position. He had to miss the semifinal game against Russia because of an illness but was able to get back into the lineup Thursday night for the gold medal game.

The Ohio State freshman played just 8:17 and a team-low 12 shifts in the shootout win over Canada, but nonetheless, he’s a gold medal winner.

WJCs stats: 7 games played, 1 goal, 1 assist, 8 shots on goal, 2 PIMs, plus-2

Carter Hart, G, 6-1/181, Team Canada
Goalie controversy and Philadelphia hockey tend to go hand in hand, so it was only fitting for Hart to be involved in one with Canada. Dominique Ducharme opted to start Connor Ingram in the quarterfinals vs. the Czech Republic and semifinals vs. Sweden.

The roll of the dice, if you will, worked out against the Czechs, though Ingram was nothing special in the quarterfinal matchup. It nearly cost Canada in the semis. Ingram yielded two goals on three shots in the first nine minutes to Sweden, and that was all Ducharme needed to see from the Kamloops netminder and replaced him with Hart.

Hart settled the Canadians down in the opening period and helped Canada go into the first intermission tied with a loaded Sweden club, 2-2, with 13 first-period saves. He added 12 more — many of the difficult variety — in the second, as Canada went up 3-2. He made just four saves in the third period, but Hart saved Canada from elimination. He stopped all 29 shots Sweden threw his way and earned the Player of the Game honors.

One night later, Hart got the starting nod against the U.S. in the gold medal game, a contest that needed a skills competition to decide the winner. Hart gave up four goals on 35 shots and the lone goal in the shootout to Troy Terry, who went 4 for 4 in shootout attempts in the semifinals and gold medal game. It was another matchup in which Hart was terrific in net for Canada, and one of those in which he did not deserve to lose.

WJCs stats: 7 games played, 3-0-1, 2.38 goals-against average, .906 save percentage

Philippe Myers, D, 6-5/209, Team Canada
As expected, Myers did not play in either the quarterfinals or semifinals for Canada because of a concussion he suffered in the preliminary round against the United States.

Myers will return to the Rouyn-Noranda Huskies of the QMJHL, where his playing status remains in question because of his head injury. With it being his second concussion of the year, Myers’ health the remainder of the 2016-17 season will be worth watching.

Flyers GM Ron Hextall recently said, via Sportsnet's Elliotte Friedman, that instead of being proud of signing Myers, the team is asking why it didn’t draft him in the first place.

WJCs stats: 4 games played, 0 goals, 3 assists, 3 shots on goal, 4 PIMs, plus-1

German Rubtsov, C, 6-0/190, Team Russia
Rubtsov’s world juniors ended after the quarterfinals. The Flyers’ 2016 first-round pick missed Russia’s semifinals 4-3 shootout loss to the U.S. because of a concussion.

In Russia’s 4-0 win over Denmark on Monday, Rubtsov received a high hit and suffered the head injury. He reportedly has a broken nose in addition to the concussion.

Rubtsov has gotten out of his KHL contract and is coming to North America to play for the Chicoutimi Saguenéens of the QMJHL, according to Stephane Leroux of Montreal TV station Réseau des sports.

WJCs stats: 5 games played, 0 goals, 0 assists, 0 shots on goal, 0 PIMs, minus-1

Mikhail Vorobyov, C, 6-2/207, Team Russia
There might not have been a Flyers prospect at the world juniors more impressive than the Flyers’ 2015 fourth-round draft pick who led the tournament with 10 assists.

Vorobyov picked up two assists in Russia’s quarters shutout win over Denmark Monday and added another in Wednesday’s 4-3 shootout loss to the United States. He also scored in the shootout against the U.S., a goal that did put Russia up, 2-1, in the SO.

Against Denmark, Vorobyov set up Russia’s first and second goals in the first period to set the tone to a smooth 4-0 win. In the quarterfinals tilt, he showed some power, protecting the puck behind the net before dishing it to Kirill Kaprizov, who finished the first-period tally.

Russia earned the bronze medal with a 2-1 overtime win over Sweden Thursday afternoon, and Vorobyov figured into Russia’s only regulation goal with a primary assist 16 seconds into the second period on another Kaprizov marker.

WJCs stats: 7 games played, 0 goals, 10 assists, 8 shots on goal, 4 PIMs, plus-6

Felix Sandstrom, G, 6-2/187, Team Sweden
An incredible semifinals showdown between Sweden and Canada that featured tremendous goaltending from Sandstrom and Hart, both Flyers prospects.

Sandstrom faced an onslaught from Canada once Hart entered the game and provided a calming presence for the Canadians, and turned in several eye-popping saves.

The Swedish netminder finished with 38 saves in the 5-2 semifinals defeat, allowing four goals — Canada’s fifth goal came with an empty net. None of the four goals Sandstrom yielded were fluke goals, either, as Canada created all quality scoring chances.

It was a strong tournament for Sandstrom, who lost just one game and was named the Goalie of the Tournament. On Monday, he stopped 15 of 18 shots in Sweden’s 8-3 win over Slovakia. Sweden fell short in the bronze medal game, but Sandstrom again was fantastic, making 24 of 26 stops.

WJCs stats: 7 games played, 4-1-1, 2.17 goals-against average, .915 save percentage

David Bernhardt, D, 6-3/203, Team Sweden
After a decent showing in the prelims, Bernhardt was a minus-2 in the quarterfinals and semifinals while logging no more than 14:40 of ice time — against Canada.

Bernhardt saw just 3:51 minutes in the third period against Slovakia on Monday, a game that Sweden pulled away early, and 4:30 in the final stanza against Canada. He was pointless in both games.

Still, not a terrible tournament for a seventh-round draft pick. Bernhardt flashed some signs of being a North American player as he ages, but he’ll take a while to develop.

WJCs stats: 7 games played, 0 goals, 3 assists, 15 shots on goal, 4 PIMs, plus-6

Matej Tomek, G, 6-3/183, Team Slovakia
Despite playing well in the preliminary round, Tomek did not start nor see action in Slovakia’s 8-3 loss to Team Sweden on Monday, a game that saw 50 shots thrown at the Slovakian net. Rangers prospect Adam Huska made 42 stops in the loss.

Tomek returns to the University of North Dakota, where the sophomore has yet to play in a regular-season game in two years at UND. His play in this tournament is a bright spot for his perspective as a goalie prospect. An encouraging world junior for him.

WJCs stats: 2 games played, 0-2-0, 3.50 goals-against average, .913 save percentage

David Kase, RW, 5-11/170, Team Czech Republic
In the Czech Republic’s 5-3 loss to Canada on Monday, Kase opened the scoring in the first by taking advantage of a strange bounce off an official’s hip and onto his stick.

Kase’s goal — his second of the tournament — allowed the Czechs to take a 1-0 lead into the first intermission, though the Canadians eventually took control in the second.

Now, Kase returns to Piráti Chomutov of the Czech Extraliga, where he has not played in a game since Dec. 2 and then Oct. 31 before that because of an injury. 

WJCs stats: 5 games played, 2 goals, 1 assist, 12 shots on goal, 4 PIMs, minus-1

Subpar start leads to Flyers loss vs. Lightning but doesn't hurt spot in NHL playoff race

Subpar start leads to Flyers loss vs. Lightning but doesn't hurt spot in NHL playoff race

BOX SCORE

The Flyers didn't bring their A-game to a game they needed it.

There would be no giant killing Saturday as the Flyers lost to the Lightning, 5-3, at Amalie Arena.

Goals from Ivan Provorov, James van Riemsdyk and Claude Giroux weren't enough for the Flyers (32-20-7), who are 6-3-2 against the Bruins, Lightning, Capitals, Penguins and Blues, the league's top five clubs.

Tampa Bay is the only one the Flyers haven't beaten. They'll get a final crack at the Lightning on March 12 in the same building.

The Lightning (39-15-5) have won 10 straight games.

• This really wasn't a bad loss for the Flyers.

They were at the end of a road trip and playing the NHL's hottest team. Tampa Bay is 22-2-1 over its last 25 games and hasn't lost at home since Dec. 19.

The Flyers entered Saturday with a 66.9 percent chance to make the playoffs, according to Hockey-Reference.com, and still hold an Eastern Conference wild-card spot (see standings).

Alain Vigneault's team just needs to recharge and be ready for a big home-and-home set against the Blue Jackets next week.

• Things got chippy in the second period. Travis Konecny was right in the middle of it all.

Steven Stamkos appeared to trip Giroux before a faceoff. Giroux didn't even look to be that mad about it.

During the final 6:09 of the middle frame, 22 penalty minutes were accrued.

• Brayden Point (10-game point streak) is good at hockey.

• Carter Hart, who was coming off his first road victory since Nov. 10, allowed four goals on 23 shots.

The 21-year-old wasn't the problem.

The first goal was a fluky one by Alex Killorn. On the second, Provorov was sloppy with the puck in the defensive zone and Tampa Bay capitalized to take a 2-0 lead into first intermission.

In the middle stanza, the Lightning beat Hart on a 3-on-2 to grab a commanding 3-0 advantage. Tampa Bay improved to 33-4-3 when it scores three or more goals.

Not only are the Lightning really good, but the Flyers also didn't play their typical forechecking, possession-based game until it was too late.

• Outside of the van Riemsdyk's third-period goal, Lightning netminder Andrei Vasilevskiy was strong with 30 saves, 15 of which came in the final stanza. 

Vasilevskiy improved to 18-0-1 with a 1.83 goals-against average and .940 save percentage over his last 19 starts.

• Provorov was far from his best against Tampa Bay but he did score the Flyers' first goal to trim the Lightning's lead to 3-1 in the second period. He also had an assist.

The 23-year-old has grown into a power play quarterback this season. He leads all NHL defensemen with seven man advantage goals after scoring only two over his first three NHL seasons.

• Travis Sanheim played 19:43 minutes Saturday after missing almost the entire third period of Thursday's 6-2 win over the Panthers because of a lower-body issue.

• The Flyers are off Sunday, practice at 11:30 a.m. Monday in Voorhees, New Jersey and host the Blue Jackets Tuesday (7 p.m. ET/NBCSP).

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Flyers, Lightning have 4 p.m. start on NBC Sports Philadelphia

Flyers, Lightning have 4 p.m. start on NBC Sports Philadelphia

Saturday's game should be a good one.

The Flyers and Lightning are two of the hottest teams in the NHL. Since Jan. 8, the Flyers have the league's most goals (52) and only one team has more points (21) — the Lightning (27).

Tampa Bay is also on a nine-game winning streak and 21-2-1 over its last 24 games.

The big showdown comes a little earlier than usual. Puck drop will be shortly after 4 p.m. ET on NBC Sports Philadelphia, with Flyers Pregame Live set for 3:30 p.m. ET.

The matchup finishes off a three-game road trip for the Flyers, who then play four of their next five games at the Wells Fargo Center.

Click here to download the MyTeams App by NBC Sports! Receive comprehensive coverage of your teams and stream the Flyers, Sixers and Phillies games easily on your device.

More on the Flyers