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World Juniors Semifinals RECAP: USA will have to settle for Bronze, Canada crushes Czechs

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It will be Canada vs. Sweden for the Gold Medal.

Matt Zambonin/HHOF-IIHF Images

Relegation Game 2: Belarus is relegated as they fall to Denmark 3-2.

Welp. Sorry Belarus. I eagerly await your return in 2020.

The Danes got up early and tried their darnedest to hold fast, but Belarus managed to claw their way back into it in the waning minutes of the third, and OT could do nothing. With that done, it was the skillz comp, and thus...Belarus fell.

A Couple Thoughts:

  1. All things considered this is pretty huge for Danish hockey. This means they will attend their fifth straight WJC, something they’d previously never done, and everyone up and down praised their resilience when their backs were against the wall. If it means they come next year ready to win, I think it’ll be a positive.
  2. Belarus goes down, and Kazakhstan will take their place next year. Welcome to the Kazakhs to the dance, ladies and gents!

Semifinal game 1: USA’s flaws come back to haunt them against the ocean of depth that Sweden has. Sweden wins 4-2 and will face Canada in the gold medal game.

If you’ve been following the US this tournament, you’ll know that they are unquestionably talented...but obviously pretty lackluster in some areas. Namely, in areas involving goaltending and defense.

...and boy did that come back to bite them. Held scoreless in the first, Pettersson opening things up in the 2nd and the Swedes still keeping them off the board, and then two straight short-handed goals in the third effectively doomed any chances of the Americans pulling their late period hero shenanigans. They will have to deal with the Czechs and settle for Bronze medal this tournament.

A Few Thoughts and Final American Bruins Prospect Update:

  1. Woll was disastrous. Truly disastrous. That he still got playing time after goal three was unbelievable, but a similar amount of blame falls on the defenders: the US d-corps just got flattened by an avalanche of talent.
  2. Once again, truly shocked that a team wearing Bills jerseys would end up choking in games where it mattered in Buffalo it’s just never happened in the history of ever.
  3. The Swedes are deeper than the Marianas Trench. I don’t know how Canada will react, but I’m sure they’re ready for it.
  4. Bruins Prospect Recap (Sweden): Oskar Steen got the first shorthanded tally for the Swedes. It was very good and this young man might have a future.
  5. Bruins Prospect Recap (USA): Trent Frederic finished his gold rush with no points and less than 8 minutes played. Ryan Lindgren played almost 20 minutes but had no points.

Semifinal Game 2: Canada runs over the Czechs to the tune of 7-2.

As it turns out, defense is actually kind of important to winning hockey games. Who knew?

Not the Czechs apparently.

This was yet another brutal mismatch, unfortunately. The Czechs did try and keep pace, but a 4 goal 2nd was too much of a weight for them, and they buckled. I cannot imagine how Sweden is going to handle this.

A Couple of thoughts:

  1. Canada is rolling right along. How Sweden will match up here is going to be all the difference between a fun matchup and one you can just turn off after two periods.
  2. That said, Filip Zadina is an absolute stud. Congrats to whoever drafts him in advance because they’ll have a truly transfomative player once he puts on their sweater.
  3. Czechs versus USA is either going to be a bloodbath or a fantastic slugfest.

FINAL WORLD JUNIOR GAMES ARE TODAY, AND ARE AS SCHEDULED:

BRONZE MEDAL GAME: UNITED STATES vs. CZECH REPUBLIC, 4pm EST

Bruins Prospects in this game: Trent Frederic, Jeremy Swayman, Ryan Lindgren (USA)

GOLD MEDAL GAME: SWEDEN vs. CANADA, 8pm EST

Bruins Prospects in this game: Oskar Steen (SWE)