For San Jose Sharks fans out there, this is a special game day report. Its day five as both Sharks prospects Sean Kuraly and Tomas Hertl are in tournament action. In the tournament, Sean Kuraly represents the organization for the USA U20 National Team and Tomas Hertl represents the Sharks as a member of the Czech Republic U20 National Team. In addition, the United States are positioned in Group B, while the Czech’s are seeded in Group A. Each squad has played two games of the tournament as hold identical records of 1-0-0-1 with three points in the prelims.
Sharks prospect Sean Kuraly is from Dublin, OH an was selected by San Jose in the 2011 NHL Draft in the fifth round at 133rd overall. Before being picked up by the Sharks, Sean has spent the last three years in the USHL (United States Hockey League) playing for the Indiana Ices. In those three seasons, Kuraly has played 110 games, with 41 goals, 61 assists, and was plus 17. In the tournament, thru two games, Sean Kuraly has one goal and one assists with a plus three rating.
The 2013 U.S. National Junior Team woke up this morning in Ufa, Russia, with its sights set on a matchup on Sunday against Canada at 4:30 a.m. US EST. Team USA is coming of off a 2-1 loss against the retooled and revamped Russian National lead by Edmonton Oilers 2012 1st overall draft pick Nail Yakopov and Buffalo Sabres 12th overall draft pick, Mikhail Grigorenko. For the Canadians, they are coming off of a 6-3 victory against the Slovakian’s and are 2-0-0-0 in the tournament and are currently sitting in second place with six points just behind Team Russia.
The North American rivals have a long and storied history in international play and in particular have waged some classic battles on the ice at the IIHF World Junior Championship.
Team USA last defeated Canada at the World Juniors in 2010 when it won 6-5 in overtime to claim the gold medal. Overall, the U.S. is 5-1-3-26-3 (W-OTW-OTL-L-T) against Canada all-time in the tournament. The teams squared off last year in Alberta in the preliminary round where the U.S. fell 3-2. This matchup for the US, is a must win.
In the 2012 NHL draft, San Jose selected 17th overall, young Czech Republic centerman from the Slavia Prague team Tomas Hertl. Before being picked up by the Sharks, Hertl was the fourth-leading scorer for Slavia Prague as a rookie in the Czech Extraliga and represented the Czech Republic at the 2012 U20 World Junior Championship. Skating in 38 games, he scored 11 goals with 15 assists and had 22 penalty minutes. After finishing 12th in the 14-team league, Slavia avoided relegation to the first division in the twelve-game playout series. Hertl scored 3 goals with 6 penalty minutes in the post-season. In six games at the WJC, he scored 3 goals with 2 assists and was plus-two. In the 2013 World Junior Championship tournament, Tomas Hertl, thru two games played, has one assist and is a plus one.
The Czech Republic team recently grabbed its first win at the 2013 world junior hockey championships on Friday, defeating Finland 3-1. Today, Tomas Hertl and his club will take on the Latvian National Team who has played three games in the tournament with a 0-0-0-3 record and are still looking for their first win in the World Junior Championships with the puck set to drop at 7:00a US EST.
Best of Luck for both San Jose Sharks prospects today!!!!!!!
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