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2020 World Juniors Semifinal RECAP: Russia stuns Sweden, Canada rolls over, and Kazakhstan refuses to die

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An absolutely insane day of semifinal action that’s created a heater of a medal round, and Germany/Kazakhstan goes to sudden death

Matt Zambonin/HHOF-IIHF Images

We gotta lot to get through here.

Relegation Game 2: Kazakhstan explodes to win 4-1 and level the series at 1 a piece.

Kazakhstan is NO LONGER MESSING AROUND.

Game Notes:

  • Consider the heroism that Vladislav Nurek for the Kazakhs pulled today. He saw the same amount of shots that the Slovaks saw not too long ago, and ended up only letting one past him. The Germans dominated this game and could not crack him. He and the Kazakhs will get one more crack at survival tomorrow.
  • Germans did everything right except defend the break, and that’s what killed them in the end. Their defense and goaltender need to buckle down in order to survive.

Semifinal Game 1: Sweden and Russia have an absolute barnburner, but Ivan Morozov’s heroics are completed with a 6-5 OT win

This. Game. RULED.

Game Notes:

  • The Swedish defense and goaltending, normally strengths, completely collapsed tonight in a game they absolutely should’ve had control of. Two quick goals given up in the first thanks to OT, grinded their way back into a tie in the 2nd, get the lead for about a minute or so...and then lose it. Then lose in OT. Rough day for Tre Kronor.
  • Meanwhile, Russia absolutely refused to die. They played with the bitter tenacity expected of the Red Machine, and it paid dividends. They’re gonna need every drop of that to take on Canada.

Semifinal Game 2: There will be a new world champion, Finland is blanked 5-0

It will be Canada v. Russia in the gold medal game, and boy scandinavia is going to make for an absolutely wild game in the bronze medal round.

Game Notes:

  • The Canadians just showed up ready to crush the Finns, and Finland didn’t stand a chance. It was a bell-to-bell whalloping, and the Finns just couldn’t get their vaunted offense going. Rough way for their gold medal dreams to end, but now they get to take their frustrations out on Sweden.
  • Canada is the team to beat. Russia survived by the seat of their pants, and as a result it looks like the Gold Medal is entirely up to Canada showing that they can do this again, which they absolutely can.

IIHF 2020 World Juniors FINALS - Jan 5:

Relegation Game 3 - 5am EST

Kazakhstan vs. Germany

Bronze Medal game - 9am EST

Finland vs. Sweden

Gold Medal game - 2pm EST

Canada vs. Russia

Good luck to all these teams going to the final day!