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Friday Offseason Caterwaul: Florida Panthers Open Forum

Hannah Bilka scored three goals and added two assists and Taylor Heise also notched a hat trick (and an assist) in the United States 12-1 quarterfinal walloping of Hungary at the 2022 IIHF Women’s World Championship in Denmark. Despite outshooting Hungary 17-1, the Yanks were only up by a goal after the first period. They exploded for nine goals in the middle frame  to advance to the semifinals, where they will face Czechia, the Group B winner. Lee Stecklein, Hannah Brandt, Hilary Knight, Kelly Pannek, Jincy Dunne and Abby Roque also tallied for the Americans. Regina Metzler scored the only goal for the outmatched Hungarians.

Czechia advanced with a 2-1 win over Finland thanks to Aneta Tejralova’s game-winning goal 41 seconds into overtime. The Czechs led by a goal until Noora Tulus knotted the score at 8:01 of the third period. Klara Peslarova stopped 36 of 37 shots in the upset.

Canada completely dominated Sweden, but had to settle for 3-0 win thanks to the stellar goaltending of Emma Soderberg, who finished with 54 saves. Jocelyn Larocque, Sarah Potomak and Erin Ambrose lit the lamp for Canada, who will face Switzerland in the semifinals.

The Swiss team advance by virtue of a 2-1 shootout victory over Japan, which played its best game of the tournament in defeat. Sinja Leemann scored Switzerland’s only goal in regulation and notched the clinching shootout marker.

While the four winners move on to the semifinals, the quartet of losing teams will playoff for fifth place with all games taking place on Saturday.

NHL signings

The Dallas Stars inked restricted free agent goalie Jake Oettinger to a three-year contract worth $12 million. Oettinger took over as Dallas’ number one keeper last season and went 30-15-1 with a 2.53 GAA and .914 save percentage. The Florida Panthers beat Oettinger four times on 17 shots, chasing him in the second period of a 7-1 win on January 14. (Defending Big D)