Thursday Caterwaul: Florida Panthers Open Forum

Cats prospect Jakub Kos will go for gold at WJC

Florida Panthers prospect Jakub Kos will go for gold tonight when Czechia takes on Canada in the final of the 2023 World Junior Championship in Halifax, Nova Scotia.

Kos and his fellow Czechs pulled off a 2-1 comeback win over Ludvig Jansson and Sweden in the afternoon semifinal when Jiri Kulich scored with 50 seconds left in overtime.

Jansson scored the only goal for Sweden, notching his fourth of the tournament 1:39 into the second period. The goal stood as the potential game-winner until David Jiricek evened things up with 39 seconds left in regulation, with goalie Tomas Suchanek off for an extra attacker.

The 19-year-old, who will play for bronze against the United States this afternoon, logged 22:46 TOI and registered three shots on goal and a plus-one rating. His goal gave him eight points in six games played, tying him with Czechs David Spacek and Stanislav Svozil for the lead among defenseman.

Kos didn’t figure in the scoring and finished the game with two shots on goal and an even rating in 14:40 of ice time. He won one of the two draws he took.

Sandis Vilmanis lit the lamp in Latvia’s 4-2 relegation round win over Austria, which means the Latvians will remain in the top group for 2024 tournament in Gothenburg, Sweden.

Vilmanis easily finished off a return pass from Martins Lavins on a 2-on-1 break to put his team up by four early in the third period. He played 17:07, had three shots on goal and finished with an even rating.

The 18-year-old, who is currently plying his trade in the OHL with the Sarnia Sting, finished the tourney with two goals and an assist in six games played.

In the prime time semifinal, Canada roared back from an early deficit to best the United States, who had a key goal waved off, by a 6-2 count. Phenom Connor Bedard scored his ninth goal and added an assists, upping his tournament total to 23 points.

Today’s games

Bronze - Sweden (Jansson) vs United States 2:30 p.m. (NHL Network)

Gold - Canada vs Czechia (Kos) 6:30 p.m. (NHL Network)


The Charlotte Checkers saw its four-game winning streak come to an end as they were beaten 5-3 by the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins at Mohegan Sun Arena. Connor Bunnaman (5), Henry Bowlby (4) and rookie Santtu Kinnunen (3) were the goal-scorers for the Checkers. John Ludvig (4) and Aleksi Heponiemi (7) collected assists. Alex Lyon took the loss, finishing with 27 saves on 31 shots. The two teams will go at it again tomorrow night in Wilkes-Barre Township.


The Cats get another night off before they pay a visit to the Detroit Red Wings at Little Caesars Arena on Friday. Detroit fell 5-1 to the New Jersey Devils last night. In other action involving Atlantic Division teams, the Tampa Bay Lightning were beaten by the same score by the Minnesota Wild. The Panthers need help and last night they got it.