Wed Dec 29 09:54pm EST
BUFFALO — Buzzing The Net is selecting three stars during each day of the world junior championship:
No. 1 star: Brayden Schenn, Canada
The Los Angeles Kings prospect will never have an easier five-point game than the one he put up in Canada's 10-1 formality vs. Norway.
It was practically an encore performance of his five-point night two days earlier vs. the Czech Republic, as he moved into the tournament scoring lead with 12 points in three games. The game was bound to be a blowout, but Schenn got his points early, completing the hat trick (with an assist in between) by the early stages of the second period.
Schenn also stole the puck in the Norwegian zone to give himself a chance at the fourth goal during garbage time, where he rapped in a Tyson Barrie rebound. Did anyone else notice that linemate Quinton Howden seemed to hold off so Schenn could swat the rebound behind goalie Lars Volden?
Fans at HSBC Arena booed when Erik Gudbranson (who scored goals No. 3 and 10 from his defence spot) was announced as Canada's player of the game.
No. 2 star: Julius Junttila, Finland
Finland, which is through to the medal round with seven points in three games, is a tough team to highlight one player on since it relies so much on balance and defence.
Juntilla (pictured, top) jumped out, since his two assists in the Finns' 5-1 victory over Germany came in the second period when they stretched the lead to four goals. His second helper was a nifty back pass right on to the stick of Joonas Donskoi, who was rewarded for going hard to the net.
Doonskoi, a Florida Panthers fourth-round selection, and Detroit Red Wings prospect Teemu Pulkkinen each had two points on the day, helping the Finns (seven points after three games) earn a bid in the medal round.
No. 3 star: Tommi Kivisto, Finland
It's about time the Finnish back end got attention, since they have allowed only four goals in 183:39 of hockey. Kivisto helped limit Germany offensively and set up the first Finn goal with a tailored-for-tipping shot. Montreal Canadiens draft pick Joonas Nattinen was credited with the goal, his team-high third of the tournament.
Honourable mention: Tobias Rieder, Germany
The Kitchener Rangers rookie import showed what all the fuss is about, even as his team fell to 0-3. Rieder scored the lone German goal with a beauty effort, using the Forsberg move to deke Finland goalie Joni Ortio, who was otherwise unimpeachable in goal. It was sweet.
Neate Sager is a writer for Yahoo! Sports Canada. Contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org and follow him on Twitter @neatebuzzthenet. (Photo: Getty Images.)