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GOTTA SEE IT: Key to Will Smith Game-Tying Goal Was His Hustle

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Credit: USA Hockey

The San Jose Sharks are going to be a big part of the World Junior Championships gold medal game.

Earlier today, 2022 first-rounder Filip Bystedt and 2022 second-rounder Mattias Havelid helped Team Sweden triumph over Czechia 5-2 in a semi-final match-up.

Then, 2023 fourth-overall pick Will Smith and 2023 fifth-rounder Eric Pohlkamp helped Team USA to a 3-2 victory over 2023 second-rounder Kasper Haltunnen’s Finland.

This Is 3rd-Most Prospects the Sharks Have Ever Had at WJCs

USA and Sweden will play for the gold medal, while Finland takes on Czechia for the bronze tomorrow.

Top San Jose Sharks prospect Smith took center stage during the semi-finals, notching a secondary assist and the game-tying goal in USA’s comeback victory.

His 200-foot effort was especially noticeable on his goal. It wasn’t just about how Smith (6) melted behind Joona Vaisanen (12) to put in the equalizer.

Rewind the tape, and you’ll see Smith turn Finland over on the backcheck, intercepting a Janne Naukkarinen (36) pass to Lenni Hameenaho (29) in the neutral zone. Then, Smith’s hustle turns Vaisanen’s hopes to break out the puck cleanly into a 50-50, which USA eventually wins.

All this is a prelude to Gabe Perreault (34) and Smith teaming up for the clutch middle frame goal, and eventually, Cutter Gauthier’s third period game-winner.

If you want to check out the future of the San Jose Sharks, Finland-Czechia will face off at 6 AM PT, and USA-Sweden will follow at 10:30 AM PT on Jan. 5.

Special thanks to JD Young for the video clip.

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