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WJC Day 6: Group Play Wrap Up

The big North American bout, seedings shaking out, how did it all wrap up?

USA v Canada - 2017 IIHF World Junior Championship

First off, a happy new year to each and every one of you! To cap off 2016, the World Junior Championship finished up its group play, and boy, was it a doozy. A certainly surprise win, the group standings all wrapping up, there’s a lot to talk about, so let’s get to it!

Finland 2 - Switzerland 0

After all of the torture Finnish hockey fans were being put through, including firing their entire coaching staff, they somehow pulled off a victory, a shutout, no less, against the Swiss, who pulled off their own surprise win the night before. An Appeal Rasanen rebound swipe put Finland on the board, and a bomb from Eeli Tolvanen sealed it. Veini Vehvilainen didn’t have to stand on his head, making 17 saves compared to the 51 shots that the Fins threw on Joren van Pottelberghe. That doesn't get them out of the relegation matchup with Latvia, but maybe a win can give them enough confidence to stay alive.

Russia 2 - Slovakia 0

Somewhat of the same story as the game above, not a lot of shots to save for Ilya Samsonov, just 15 and two goals was all the Russians needed. First, a sea of humanity where Denis Guryanov potted the puck past Matej Tomek, then a beautiful no look pass by Kirill Urakov set up Yakov Trenin for a short-side tally. The win didn’t change Russia’s standing in Group B but should give them confidence going into the quarterfinals.

Sweden 5 - Czech Republic 2

It’s hard not to say this game was Sweden domination, but it’s not hard to say it was Sweden Dahlen-ation. The Sens second round draft pick, Jonathan Dahlen, had a hat trick, while Filip Gustavsson made 36 saves in the victory. The Swedes handily locked up Group A, and while Dahlen’s hat trick might be the highlight to feature here, you just gotta feel so bad for Lukas Jasek here.

and in the biggest matchup of the tournament so far...

United States 3 - Canada 1

The US of A got out to a quick two goal lead and despite a five minute major and ejection of Luke Kunin for a very arguable hit to the head, Joseph Woll made 25 saves in the victory. The BU-BC connection continued with Clayton Keller and Colin White, and the Terriers scored a goal all on their own too, as Jordan Greenway’s slick drive to the net, assisted from Keller and Charlie McAvoy, made it 2-0. Thomas Chabot got a rebound from Woll’s pads to bulge the twine but Jeremy Bracco responded in very quick fashion to keep the American lead to two goals for good.

And with that, the standings came to an end looking like this:

Group A

Sweden (4-0-0-0) - 12 pts

Denmark (1-1-1-1) - 6 pts

Czech Republic (1-0-2-1) - 5 pts

Switzerland (0-2-0-2) - 4 pts

Finland (1-0-0-3) - 3 pts

Group B

United States (4-0-0-0) - 12 pts

Canada (3-0-0-1) - 9 pts

Russia (2-0-0-2) - 6 pts

Slovakia (1-0-0-3) - 3 pts

Latvia (0-0-0-4) - 0 pts

And here is how the bracket will look going into the medal round to start:

Finland vs Latvia (Relegation Round)

Denmark vs Russia (Quarterfinals #1)

Sweden vs Slovakia (Quarterfinals #2)

United States vs Switzerland (Quarterfinals #3)

Canada vs Czech Republic (Quarterfinals #4)

2017, here we go!