The excitement and intrigue from Day 1 of the 2019 World Jr. “A” Challenge carried over into Sunday’s matinee between Russia and the Czech Republic, as Marcel Barinka scored on a breakaway in overtime to give the Czechs a 4-3 win.
This physical affair saw the Russians jump out to a 2-0 lead on the strength of first-period goals by a pair of 2021 draft-eligible defensemen. Kirill Kirsanov opened the scoring at 2:11 of the first after he jumped into an opening near the right circle and fired a shot home. Daniil Chayka, who plays for the Guelph Storm of the Ontario Hockey League, snuck a wrister from the near boards that slipped past Czech goalie Jan Skorpik at 7:35.
The Czechs upped their game in the second period and they were rewarded with three goals, the first coming on the power play by Ondrej Psenicka at 5:06. Jakub Rychlovsky tiede the score at 2 after he tipped home a point shot from Jakub Cernohorsk, but Pavel Tyuntnev reclaimed the lead for Russia with under six minutes left in the frame after his centering feed intended for Alexander Pashin caromed off a skate and slid under Skorpik. The lead did not last, however, as hulking winger Adam Klapka powered down the right wing and finished from right in front of the net.
In overtime, Alexander Pashin slipped to the ice right after entering the Czech zone, allowing Klapka to corral the puck and find a streaking Barinka, who beat Maxim Motorygin with a writer glove side.
#WJAC: RW Alexander Pashin blows a tire to allow mammoth RW Adam Klapka (2000) to spring Halifax C Marcel Barinka (2001) for the deciding goal in OT.
LW Pavel Tyutnev Loko Yaroslavl, MHL | 5’10, 185 | 7/25/02
A sturdy forward with two-way and playmaking capabilities, Tyutnev is one of many under-18 notables who has competed for Russia at all of their key tournaments the last two years. He played alongside center Vasily Ponomaryov and winger Alexander Pashin — the same duo he flanked at the Ivan Hlinka tournament in August. Before getting to his critical goal in third period on Sunday against the Czechs, I’d like to highlight his play on the puck in both the neutral and defensive zones. Tyutnev, like most Russians on his team, is extremely well balanced and difficult to fix from his desired avenue of approach. He moves laterally with as much quickness and power as he does when moving forward, but he keeps his head up and looks to limit the amount of times he needlessly cedes possession, specifically once he reaches the opposing line. Once he’s inside the zone, Tuytnev is a horse along the boards and a bull behind the net. He’s able to stay under control with more than one defender draped over him, and he reacts and positions himself properly during the cycle. On the power play, Tyutnev is more than proficient at zipping accurate cross-ice or cross-crease passes from the wall, but he also moves near the goal and establishes net-front superiority. Although the goal he was credited for seemed more like a centering feed that inadvertently found the back of the net, his hard work throughout the last two games continues to put him in a position with a clear line of site to the goal.
#WJAC: A lively second period between Russia and the Czechs has the score tied at 3 after 40 minutes, with the third just underway. C/W Pavel Tyutnev made it 3-2 Russia with this shot from behind the goal line, but Liberec’s Adam Klapa (2000) tied it up late in the frame. pic.twitter.com/qhJzlzrlD0
A tough two-way forward with highlight-reel skills and a reliable penalty killer, Buruyanov is one of the better Russian draft eligibles for next year. Like Tuytnev, Burunayov has worn Russian red for multiple international tournaments, plus he’s a critical top-nine contributor to one of the MHL’s deeper teams. On Sunday, Buruyanov displayed his quickness to the inside and fought through hard shoves multiple times while maintaining puck control. He’s a fast skater with a clean, powerful stride and a quick first step, and his ability to shift gears or turn defenders inside-out was evident on Sunday against the Czechs.
RW Adam Klapka Benatky, Chance Liga | 6’8, 247 | 9/14/00
Your eyes are definitely NOT deceiving you. No, Klapka never was a power forward for the ’90 Detroit Pistons, nor did he stuff the run for the ’85 Chicago Bears. Surprisingly, Klapka — all 6-foot-8 of him — is a highly-mobile winger with soft hands who had a strong overall game and drove the bus on offense with a tying goal and the primary assist on Marcel Barinka’s OT winner. His ability to separate opponents from the puck and quickly transition into attack mode was impossible to miss since he towers over everyone and was hounding the puck frequently. While snap assessments for all skaters over 6-foot-5 seem to always include terms like “project” or “raw”, Klapka, albeit in one game, looked quite poised, nimble, and polished, not only for his deceptive speed but also for his puck control, vision, and overall decision making. Klepka played the half wall on the power play and looked very confident corralling the puck and feeding it to his point men from either backhand or forehand. He also killed penalties and showed off his lateral movements but cutting inside to tee up a wrister.
Massive 6-foot-8 forward Adam Klapka makes it 3-3 after scoring on the doorstep for the Czech Republic. Russia needs to improve how it clears the crease. #WJACpic.twitter.com/UCtSNQSEx2
RHD Adam Rutar Olomouc U20, DHL Cup | 6’1, 181 | 9/6/01
A hard-hitting two-way defenseman who played for the Czechs at last year’s under-18 world championship, Rutar saw the ice for all key situations on special teams and in late/close scenarios. Not only is he versatile and a notable name, but Rutar just made 2019 draft eligibility by a few days, so it wouldn’t be a stretch to consider him one of the more desirable overage defensemen for the upcoming draft. He is very aware of his surroundings in the defensive zone, and he keeps his head on a swivel for backdoor cutters. Rutar on occasion will venture far from the low slot, but only if coverage is already established and the urge to chase a forward to the line is too strong to decline. He’s a strong, upright skater with a clean stride, and his quickness and anticipation at the opposing blue line kept several plays alive. Rutar can unload a very heavy shot and he appeared to be a target for one-timers. His decision making as a whole was solid.
LW Jakub Rychlovsky Benatky, Chance Liga | 5’11, 183 | 8/7/01
A hyper-competitive winger who mixes aggressive forechecking and physical play with strong puck skills, Rychlovsky was the Czech Republic’s top-line winger and was used on both special teams as well. He tipped in the shot that tied the game at 2 in the second, and his hard work and nonstop motor on that shift could have drawn multiple penalties. Rychlovsky was ranked #202 in last year’s final rankings, and it was somewhat surprising he didn’t get a late-round flier from teams looking for hard-nosed first-year eligible with speed and skill. Keep an eye on his for the remainder of the tournament.
Any given Sunday indeed. The tournament’s first blowout was more of a surprise because of which team was on the receiving end. Although Canada-East played the Russians tough in their overtime loss on Saturday, they were considered underdogs for Sunday’s game against the West, which boasted an entire lineup of top-flight NCAA recruits and potential high picks in each of the next two drafts. Canada-East wanted to hear none of that, and they wasted little time getting on the board. Ayrton Martino, a Clarkson recruit who plays for the OJHL’s St. Michael’s Buzzers, opened the scoring by popping in the rebound of a Rylan Mosley wrister from the left circle. The duo combined for a shorthanded goal a few minutes later, as Martino entered the zone deliberately before floating a perfectly-time pass to a streaking Mosley, who beat goalie Carter Gylander with a backhand over the glove. The West got on the board at 8:02 when 2002-born defenseman and Michigan commit Ethan Edwards took the puck on his off wing and cut inside for a wrister that found the back of the net. That was all the offense the West would muster, however, as Canada-East received an insurance goal from Ryan Alexander in the second, then third-period tallies from Nicholas DeGrazia and Martino that sealed their first victory in two games. Martino led all players with two goals and two assists. Devon Levi stopped 29 shots to pick up the win.
A speedy and fearless two-way winger who plays the game at full throttle, Ozar was willing to sacrifice his body several times on the penalty kill and remain in the play rather than feel sorry for himself. He is an inside player who isn’t concerned with traffic or the size of the defensemen about to line him up. Time and again, Ozar would drive to the outside and immediately go to the front pos the net after dishing it off to a trailer or point man. With the puck, Ozar is very crafty and can make set-ups from either hand through traffic. He played the half wall on the power play and kept his feet moving while directing the flow of the possession. A native of Saskatchewan but never drafted by the WHL, Ozar is one of the top scorers in the BCHL and is committed to the University of Denver.
Mosley is Canada-East’s captain, and he certainly is leading by example. He followed up his strong three-zone game from Saturday with a versatile performance in Sunday’s win over Canada-West, setting up Ayrton Martino’s opening score then burying a short-handed goal a few minutes later. Mosley, a Alabama-Huntsville recruit, is a very good skater with straight-line speed and tight-quarter elusiveness. He played on the Martino’s opposite flank with Ryan Alexander in the middle, and the trio seemed to click immediately. He owns a big shot and can whistle a wrister from the circle, or step into a one-timer on his off wing. He killed penalties with effectiveness by keeping his feet moving and staying in the way of shots or passes.
#WJAC: Team Canada-East jumped out to an early 2-0 lead over Canada-West thanks to this SHG by @uahhockey recruit Rylan Mosley (2020/2000). West got one back and it’s 2-1 after 20. pic.twitter.com/jOBjoHaNA0
LHD Tucker McIntosh Ottawa, CCHL | 5’11, 155 | 5/20/01 | NCAA: St. Lawrence
A converted forward with a howitzer for a shot, Tucker has manned the point for Canada-East’s power-play in each of their first two games. He’s an aggressive puck rusher with very good speed and agility to sidestep forecheckers, but he’s also an accurate first-passer and is willing to take a hit to move the puck. McIntosh isn’t strong enough yet to keep his crease clear but he finished off checks with authority, wielded an active stick, and timed his poke checks to collect loose pucks after already getting a step or two on his opponent.
C Ayrton Martino St. Michael’s, OJHL | 5’10, 156 | 9/28/01 | NCAA: Clarkson
A skilled two-way forward committed to Clarkson University, Martino is a 2021 draft eligible who produced a game-high four points (2g, 2a) and showcased his abilities in both the passing and shooting game. Playing alongside Rylan Mosley, Martino displayed quickness, energy, and smart positioning while being involved on or near the puck every time he was on the ice. One aspect of his game that caught my eye was his stick and head positioning off the puck — Martino was locked in at all times and had his stick on the ice and at the ready upon realizing his help during board play was not needed. If pucks squirted loose, he was the first to pounce on them and use nimble peel-backs or cuts to buy himself room and spot the open man from anywhere in the zone. He’s a very good skater with strong balance, and he used his lower body and leg drive to power past defenders trying to check him at their line. Not only did Martino prove he can be useful in a muck-it-out environment, but the touch he put on Mosley’s shorthanded goal, followed by his finish on the backhand that capped the scoring, showed he has top-notch puck skills that support his cerebral play off the puck.