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MUST SEE: Will Smith’s effort was key to equalizer

The San Jose Sharks will be a big part of the gold medal game at the World Junior Championships.

Earlier today, 2022 first-rounder Filip Bystedt and 2022 second-rounder Mattias Havelid helped Sweden to a 5-2 victory over the Czech Republic in the semifinals.

Later, 2023 fourth overall pick Will Smith and 2023 fifth-rounder Erik Bolkamp helped Team USA defeat 2023 second-rounder Kaspar Haltunen 3-2 Finnish team.

Here’s the Sharks’ third-best prospect at the WJC

The United States and Sweden will compete for gold, while Finland will play the Czech Republic tomorrow for bronze.

Smith, the San Jose Sharks’ top prospect, took center stage in the semifinals, dishing out two assists and scoring the game-tying goal to help the United States come back and win.

His 200-foot shot was particularly notable among his goals. It wasn’t just about how Smith (6) melted behind Jonna Vesanen (12) and tied the game.

Rewind the tape and you’ll see Smith turning Finland upside down at the back, intercepting a pass from Janne Naukkarinen (36) to Lenni Hameenaho (29) in the neutral zone. Then Smith’s hard work turned Vesanen’s hopes of a clean break into a 50-50 victory for the United States.

All of that was a prelude to a clutch mid-frame goal from Gabe Perreault (34) and Smith that ultimately set up Cutter Gauthier’s third game-winner.

If you’re wondering about the future of the San Jose Sharks, Finland vs. the Czech Republic will face off at 6 a.m. PT and the U.S. vs. Sweden will face off on January 5 at 10:30 a.m. PT.

Special thanks to JD Yang For video clips.

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