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WORLD JUNIOR RECAP | Kyrou Wins Gold, Ruzicka and Slovakia Impress

 

It was a tremendously successful ten days for Sarnia Sting stars at the 2018 World Junior Hockey Championship. Hosted in Buffalo, New York, the tournament was unpredictable from start to finish, and two members of our Sting were at the core of the action.

Sting captain Jordan Kyrou represented Canada, and forward Adam Ruzicka represented his native Slovakia. Both served as key impact players for their respective countries.

The Sting are incredibly proud of Kyrou for helping lead Canada towards their gold medal win. And just as great, Ruzicka helped Slovakia pull off one of the biggest upsets in Slovakia’s tournament history.

Kyrou World Juniors 2018Kyrou was Canada’s leading scorer over their seven games played. With ten points, Kyrou finished tied for second in overall tournament scoring.

Ruzicka had two assists and eight shots on goal in his five games played. Slovakia made it to the quarterfinals, narrowly falling to Sweden. Fans across the hockey world were impressed by how ready Slovakia was to play in that game. Despite coming in as the underdogs, Slovakia kept Sweden on the edge until the game’s final minutes. Sweden went on to win the silver medal, falling to Canada in the gold medal contest.

Kyrou was an offensive force for Canada in every game they played. Almost always the most dangerously skilled player on the ice, Kyrou was heavily targeted in opposing teams’ defensive strategies. It didn’t matter. Despite their best efforts, if Kyrou wasn’t setting up plays, he was scoring goals, and he was all over the neutral zone.

Sam Steel of the Western Hockey League’s Regina Pats and Dillon Dube of the Kelowna Rockets combined with Kyrou to form Canada’s lethal first line. The trio were the most powerful line in the tournament, and were part of a powerplay unit that was nearly impossible to stop. Kyrou routinely played the role of high trigger man on the left wing side when Canada had the man advantage. Dictating the direction of the play, Kyrou unsurprisingly led the team with seven assists in the tournament.

Ruzicka was part of Slovakia’s stunning 3-2 victory over the United States in round robin play. Coming into the game as heavy underdogs, Slovakia battled through a crazy final few minutes to emerge with the three points. Following the win, Ruzicka spoke of how much the night meant to all the Slovakian players and their families.

For Kyrou, the tournament was just as special. As part of a favored Canadian team, Kyrou was expected to be an impact player, and he more than lived up to the coaching staff’s expectations. Let’s look game-by-game.

Game 1 vs. Finland: 1 Assist

Game 2 vs. Slovakia: 1 Goal, 2 Assists

Game 4 vs. Denmark: 1 Assist

Quarterfinal vs. Switzerland: 1 Goal, 1 Assist

Semi-Final vs. Czech Republic: 1 Goal, 1 Assist

Gold Medal Game vs. Sweden: 1 Assist

Consistent throughout the tournament, Kyrou was one of Canada’s most reliable and exciting offensive talents. Consider the evidence.

Kyrou displays his all-world stickhandling skills every week at Progressive Auto Sales Arena. But out on junior hockey’s biggest stage, Kyrou showed the world that the kind of skill he regularly showcases in Sarnia is one that Sting fans appreciate each and every time he steps on the ice.

The Sting are very proud of the performances Kyrou and Ruzicka displayed at the World Juniors. For Sting fans everywhere, watching these two flourish at the international level brought incredible pride.

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