After we previewed Saturday’s World Junior Championship motion, we predicted a Sweden vs. Canada ultimate. However Russia had different concepts. Sunday will now function a gold medal rematch of a sport that noticed Russia annihilate Canada 6-Zero earlier within the event, however for a lot of causes, this rematch can be a unique story.
Two different matchups will happen on Sunday: the ultimate relegation sport between Germany and Kazakhstan, and the bronze medal sport between Finland and Sweden. They’re all intriguing rematches, so let’s get straight to the preview.
Relegation Recreation Three: Germany vs. Kazakhstan (5:00 AM)
Within the final a number of WJC tournaments, Kazakhstan has refused to say “die,” and this yr is not any exception. Backed in opposition to a wall and going through relegation, they orchestrated a Four-1 defeat of the German group, thanks to 2 targets by Stanislav Alexandrov and two factors from Maxim Musorov. Now, we come to a winner-take-all ultimate sport the place the loser can be knocked down a division within the 2021 event.
Nonetheless, Germany appears like the favourite on this state of affairs. They’re a hockey program on the rise, and have star gamers like Dominik Bokk (Carolina Hurricanes) Moritz Seider (Detroit Pink Wings) and J.J. Peterka (a prime 2020 Draft prospect).
However Kazakhstan will at all times combat their hardest to stay within the prime tier of worldwide hockey. They proved on Saturday that nobody ought to overlook them or take them flippantly. Now it’s time for considered one of these groups to show they deserve to remain.
Gamers to Watch: Stanislav Alexandrov F, Maxim Musorov F (KAZ); Dominik Bokk F [CAR], Moritz Seider D [DET] (GER)
Bronze Medal Recreation: Sweden vs. Finland (9:00 AM)
Sweden’s unhealthy misfortune continues. The nation that has an unbelievable 52-game successful streak within the group stage is one way or the other as soon as once more ready the place a bronze medal is their greatest end result. They reached that place after falling 5-Four in extra time to Russia. The early ejection of top-scorer (coming into the sport) Nils Höglander actually performed a significant position in that end result.
Nils Höglander of Rogle BK was ejected early within the sport in opposition to Russia for a success to the top of Grigori Denisenko. (photograph by Andreas Ljunggren)
Finland’s up-and-down event was down once more on Saturday, as they have been unable to attain in any respect in opposition to Canada, shedding 5-Zero. Their scoring has dried up in current days, with only one objective of their final two video games. Sadly, Justus Annunen, the Colorado Avalanche prospect who pitched a shutout in opposition to the Individuals on Thursday, was not as robust in opposition to Canada, permitting 5 targets on 39 pictures.
Archrivals Sweden and Finland went to extra time in sport one, with Tre Kronor taking the sport Three-2 on a objective by Alexander Holtz. Each groups at the moment are coming off a loss, however Finland can not purchase a objective proper now. Kristian Tanus and Patrik Puistola (Hurricanes) are their main scorers, however they’ve gone silent in current video games. Until they will discover their type quick, or Annunen can pitch a shutout once more, Sweden could also be successful as soon as once more.
Gamers to Watch: Nils Höglander F [VAN], Rasmus Sandin D [TOR] (SWE); Kristian Tanus F, Patrik Puistola [CAR] (FIN)
WJC Remaining: Canada vs. Russia (1:00 PM)
Canada has regarded more and more unstoppable on this event, successful their final 4 video games by a mixed rating of 22-Four. But it surely was the sport earlier than that, a 6-Zero loss to their opponents within the ultimate, that also haunts them. To win their second gold medal in three years, they’ll have to exorcise their largest demon in current reminiscence.
Joel Hofer, a goalie chosen by the St. Louis Blues within the fourth spherical in 2018, has regarded positively stellar in current video games. He saved all 32 pictures in opposition to Finland, good for simply the fourth shutout within the event. Now, he’ll carry the load of Canada’s expectations on his again going through Russia, in opposition to whom he didn’t begin within the group stage.
Canada’s Joel Hofer 🇨🇦 prone to be named prime goaltender at #WorldJuniors. He has a tournament-best .940 save share (94/100) – and It has been even higher in the event you take out his two durations of mop up obligation in opposition to RUS (.976, 80/82).— Frank Seravalli (@frank_seravalli) January Four, 2020Russia noticed two targets from Yegor Sokolov, a 2020 prospect enjoying with the Cape Breton Screaming Eagles within the QMJHL, of their 5-Four defeat of Sweden. Sokolov tied the sport with 11:25 left within the third interval, organising Ivan Morozov (Vegas Golden Knights) to attain the game-winner within the extra time interval.
The Russians will even have to discover a resolution for Alexis Lafrenière. The presumptive primary general decide in 2020 is exhibiting why scouts are so excessive on him. He’s tied for sixth in event scoring with 4 targets and 4 assists, regardless of lacking a number of video games attributable to an damage suffered within the first assembly between these two groups. That damage is believed to be answerable for the Canadian collapse, and now, with their chief and greatest participant again, they are going to be a unique animal altogether.
Alexis Lafrenière, the presumptive primary decide in 2020, performs his junior hockey wit the Rimouski Oéanic of the QMJHL(Photograph by Vincent Ethier/CHL)
Russia appears to be gaining momentum. However Canada has been one of the best group on this event and can be hungry to proper the one fallacious on their report card. It’d be simple to say this can be a coin flip and play it protected, however that’s no enjoyable. Canada is the favourite right here, however both group may actually win.
Gamers to Watch: Joel Hofer G [STL], Alexis Lafrenière F (CAN); Yegor Sokolov F, Grigori Denisenko F [FLA] (RUS)
Remaining Day Abstract:
All eyes can be targeted on the gold medal sport on Sunday, however followers mustn’t ignore the opposite matchups. Germany and Kazakhstan can be filled with ardour and want to reveal that their program belongs on the highest stage. The bronze medal sport options archrivals and two groups hoping to seize one thing price carrying residence from this event.
Canada and Russia have a historical past on this WJC. It’s an unsightly historical past that Canada want to erase. They’ll get their probability within the gold medal sport. And in the event that they’re going to do it, they’ll want an enormous exhibiting from Alexis Lafrenière. A game-winning efficiency from him will give the presumptive primary general decide the type of WJC efficiency hockey followers can be speaking about for years.