Kassian, Foligno provide pressure as Canada advances

Zack Kassian scored into an empty net on one of seven shots on goal Sunday as Canada moved ahead to the World Junior Championship semifinal with a 4-1 win over Switzerland. Marcus Foligno added two shots on goal for the winners, who will now face the rival United States on Monday as HSBC Arena.

The Sabres prospects skated together throughout the contest, providing a strong forecheck and many offensive plays around the Swiss net. The pair began with Louis Leblanc but later played the bulk of their time with Columbus prospect Ryan Johansen of the Portland Winterhawks.

After Switzerland quickly jumped out to a 1-0 lead, Kassian missed a great opportunity to tie the game on the power play. Kassian would spend the entire powerplay within a ten-foot radius of the Swiss net once the play was established.

Here is a full shift for Kassian, Foligno, and Leblanc midway through the first period with the game tied at a goal apiece. After the teams exchange opportunities, Kassian shows off his crisp wrister as the task winds down.

In the second period with the score still tied, Foligno missed a point blank opportunity when the acrobatic Conz got his body in front of the Foligno shot.

Here is another glimpse of Kassian and Foligno skating together, this time on a second period shift with Johansen. After Foligno helps get the puck deep, Kassian seems to have a hit lined up but instead pulls up safely to avoid any possibility of a penalty.

Early in the third period, Kassian and Foligno again came out with Johansen to keep the pressure on the Swiss. Kassian, maintaining his post in the 10-foot radius, just misses on a wraparound attempt after the puck comes in deep from the blueline.

Later in third period, Kassian misses a couple nice power play opportunities before tossing his busted stick in disgust.

Shortly after, Kassian put the cherry on top with an empty-net goal to give Canada the 4-1 win.

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Sunday, January 02, 2011 ×

didnt think much of Kassian's game (in the first anyway- when I was watching more closely), but I did think Foligno had some good shifts and generated some good chances. Cant wait to watch them both tomorrow again and hopefully be able to get a better read on them in another high pressure game.. Funny to see Nick Foligno pulling the 50/50 numbers tonight.. Be good --- Gaf

Kris Baker
Sunday, January 02, 2011 ×

Gaf - Foligno was definitely good. He played his game of creating by crashing. I thought Kassian played well also given his role (they had him playing center for a good chunk of that first period). He wasn't overly physical like he was in the first game. It definitely look like he was holding back some. I think Canada wanted him to execute, be big in front, and simply get the puck deep. He did that for the most part.

I'll be down there as well tomorrow to add some blue and white to the lower bowl.


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