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World Junior Championships Recap: Canada/Sweden and USA/Switzerland

Charlie Coyle celebrates with teammates after the U.S. tied the game 1-1. Photo: Matthew Manor / HHOF-IIHF Images
Charlie Coyle celebrates with teammates after the U.S. tied the game 1-1. Photo: Matthew Manor / HHOF-IIHF Images


Sorry, folks, but I don't have a full recap to give for these two games. I enjoyed the New Year time off by just watching and not taking notes. I will say this, though:

- Canada faced a team they couldn't dominate. Sweden was with them step for step, and the score showed it. The teams kept trading goals until the very end, going into OT at 5-5. They played the entire 5 minutes without anyone registering a point, so the game went to a shootout. The Canadians chose to go second, and the Swedes scored on the first and third shooters. The Canadians were denied, giving Sweden a 6-5 shootout win. This put them in first for their group; Canada fell to second. What happens now? Well, Sweden gets a couple days of rest before playing in the semi-finals for a chance at the medals round. Canada has to go through the quarter-finals to get there.

- Team USA also got more than they bargained for as the Swiss team was able to keep their scoring opportunities limited. Lots of back and forth play, with quality chances from both teams, but in the end, the United States' defense was just too much and they won 2-1. This means the US gets a bye and goes straight to semi-finals.

 

For full recaps, here's one for Canada-Sweden and another for USA-Switzerland.

Upcoming games:

- Canada v. Switzerland, Jan. 2 at 3:30 pm MT/5:30 pm ET

- USA v. the winner of CAN/SUI game, Jan 3 at 5:30 pm MT/7:30 pm ET

I want to point out what that schedule above means: the USA and Canada will NOT see each other in the finals for a rematch of last year's game. Unless the Swiss get the upset, the teams will face off in the semi-finals, the winner of which will go on to the gold medal round while the loser will play for the bronze.