JOHNSTOWN, Pa. – Johnstown Tomahawks forward Filips Buncis scored a goal and an assist today for Team Latvia in the International Ice Hockey Federation U18 World Championships, being played in Zug, Switzerland.
Buncis, who joined the Tomahawks in December, was listed on the top line for Latvia’s tournament-opening game against Canada. Canada won the game 11-6.
In 29 games with Johnstown in 2014-15, Buncis scored one goal and 11 assists.
The IIHF U18 World Championship features many of the world’s top 18-and-under players from the United States, Canada, Russia, Switzerland, Germany, Czech Republic, Sweden, Finland, Slovakia and Latvia.
“It is always great to see players have an opportunity to represent their country at International competitions. The World Under 18 Championship is a huge event for prospects leading into the NHL draft and Filips is a guy who I feel could open up a lot of eyes,” Tomahawks head coach Mike Letizia said of Buncis. “He has great size, a good hockey IQ and can rip the puck. When he is playing to his strengths, he can be a very difficult player for other teams to contain because he can be physical and make a lot of plays.”
Letizia said he was proud to see Buncis’ early success in the tournament.
“I am very proud of this accomplishment for him, and I look forward to seeing how he performs overall at the tournament.”
Buncis and Latvia will play the next game of its preliminary round schedule against the Czech Republic tomorrow, followed by games against Finland on Sunday and Switzerland on Monday.
Photo caption: ZUG, SWITZERLAND – APRIL 16: Canada's Zach Sawchenko #30 makes the save against Latvia's Martins Dzierkals #11 while Tyler Benson #21, Thomas Chabot #4, Filips Buncis #14 and Rudolfs Balcers #13 look on during preliminary round action at the 2015 IIHF Ice Hockey U18 World Championship. (Photo by Francois Laplante/HHOF-IIHF Images)