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2019 World Juniors Quarterfinals RECAP: Switzerland and Finland pull the upsets, USA and Russia move on

Upsets galore in Quarterfinals! Read about them here!

Matt Zambonin/HHOF-IIHF Images

Relegation Game 1: Kazakhstan puts Denmark on the brink and win 4-3.

The Danes and the Kazakhs brought you the kind of back and forth game you kinda hope that this relegation round needed. It was back and forth, neither side was willing to hold the lead for very long, and both sides were putting some individual magic on display for whole shifts.

But now, Denmark is up against the wall. Their last chance to even this out and stay in the World Juniors is on the 4th.

Game Notes:

  • Yet again the Kazakhs got completely blown out in terms of SOG, and yet again Demid Yeremeyev was a national hero for hanging in there for all three periods.
  • Hey! The Danes can score goals! But can they do it enough to win? It’s gonna be decided on Friday.

Game 1: Switzerland Stuns the Swedes 2-0 and moves on to the Semifinals.

User Savebyryder had the Swiss due to the flu rolling through the WJC and also because the Swiss are a team that plays everyone hard.

So! Come on down and claim your showcases! Because the Swiss blanked Sweden straight up!

Game Notes:

  • I really can’t overstate how much of a hero Christian Wohlwend is for getting the Swiss ready for this game and also for the system he’s implimented, because they came ready to rock.
  • Huge work put in by Luca Hollenstein in this game too, absorbing 41 shots and letting nothing through. The Swiss should buy him as many steaks, watches, and chocolate as they can get once the tournament is over.
  • Sweden just Maybe it was the Swiss playing out of their minds, maybe it was the system, maybe it was the illness, maybe it was a combo of all three, but they looked like they weren’t completely there. It was a good tournament for them, though. I’m sure next year they’ll be better.
  • The Swiss get Finland. They’d better be ready to do this again.

Game 2: Canada gets stunned by a very motivated Finland in overtime 2-1

Finland was ready for tonight’s game. They didn’t want to be forgotten, they didn’t want to be written off, they lost a player early...and to top it all off, the coach became a father of three, so what the hell was Canada expecting? They got called on late to meet the Finns, but Leijonat’s late goal supercharged their opponents. What happened next was fate.

Game Notes:

  • I will only describe Finland’s play through Eeli Tolvanen’s words: “Nobody believed that we could win. And we showed them.” And they very, very much did. Even while down 1-0 for most of the game, the Finns did what they could to basically pound Canada into the dirt as hard and as fast as humanly possible before finally Heponiemi found paydirt late. The OT goal was just icing on the cake.
  • Great tournament for Canada, but finishing in the Quarterfinals is probably not what they had in mind for this tourney. They just couldn’t keep up with Finland, and it cost them dearly.
  • Finns are probably gonna try and leverage this game into a steamrolling of Switzerland. Hopefully somebody tells them they’re somehow not-favored to win and they take it personally. That seems to be Finland’s way; demolishing via spite.
  • Bruins Prospect Update: Jack Studnicka’s tournament comes to an end. He finishes with 4 points in 5 games, and his final game saw him play 9:31 total TOI. A disappointing end, but apparently there’s talk of something brewing in Oshawa regarding him, so we’ll keep tabs on that. Vaakanainen on the other hand, had an assist on Heponiemi’s goal and was six measely seconds away from playing a full half hour of TOI. Hell of a game for him, too.

Game 3: The USA cruises to a 3-1 victory over the Czechs

Not much to say here other than the team who capitalized on mistakes and miscues won. This was probably the 2nd least surprising game of the night.

Game Notes:

  • Jack Hughes is going to make a winger very rich in the near future. I can feel it. Kid’s just got total control of his game and sometimes even the other team’s.
  • It could’ve been worse, way worse. There were sequences during this game where the Czechs just could not get out of their own way and it was up to Lukas Dostal to bail them out. It more often than not worked, and Dostal should be commended for his effort.
  • The USA draws Russia. The narratives write themselves.
  • Bruins Prospect Update: Daniel Bukac and Jakub Lauko’s tournament comes to an end. Lauko finishes with 2 points, and Bukac finishes with 1 point. Kyle Keyser did not play this game.

Game 4: Russia steamrolls Slovakia to the tune of 8-3

Color me shocked that Slovakia got murdered.

Game Notes:

  • Look, it’s not that this wasn’t expected, but man did Slovakia get crushed. They let in three goals within a minute of each other. EACH. In the first period! Their tournament ends with that wet fart of a finish and I hope someone took notice in their upper echelon.
  • USA and Russia continue on, and it’s gonna be a narrative driven game so please get any idea that this will be a game based on what the teams are like out of your head right now. Just be ready for it.
  • Bruins Prospect Update: Pavel Shen had an oddly quiet night, as he logged 14:25 TOI. He was doing this thing, just not contributing much to the scoreboard, not that he needed to.

See you Friday for the Semifinal Preview!