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2k22 WJC Prelims RECAP: Latvia goes to the QF, Slovakia is eliminated, and CAN-USA seems all but inevitable

As we move into the elimination round, let’s talk about how each group fared!

Czechia v Latvia: Group A - 2022 IIHF World Junior Championship Photo by Andy Devlin/ Getty Images

Alright! Prelims are done, let’s see how everybody did!

Group A:

  • Canada wins a lot but nobody is here because A) Hockey Canada deserves to play in front of nobody right now and B) it is August and suggesting real human beings pay $30 dollars to watch a Junior game is simply asinine. Present and accounted for at the top of the list. Hope nothing but the bad things in life happen to them.
  • Finland has stumbled a bit but they too have a clean sheet (if you don’t treat OTWs as regular ones), have been putting the screws to just about everyone they’ve played, and [RESULTS OF CAN-FIN HERE]
  • LATVIA! Holy shit! You’re third in a group that includes Canada and Finland! Sure, the Czechs might be missing a few players and you exploited their brand to perfection to get there, but you’re in! You made your first ever Quarterfinals! Even if you get stomped out, you hang in there, guys. We all love an underdog.
  • Czechia, how on earth did you let Latvia pump you for four goals like that
  • Slovakia was coming into the World Juniors as a favorite...back when the tournament was in January. The loss of Nemec, Slafkovsky, and Mesar has been utterly crippling, and they should be thanking their lucky stars elimination rounds are still postponed.

Group B:

  • The Americans are once again running wild, brother. If Sweden’s brand of defense can’t stop them, I don’t know who can.
  • Speaking of Sweden, probably one of the most efficient teams in the tourney so far. Playing Austria will do that, but outside of that they prefer dumping about three or four goals early and just kinda keep the pressure up. They can be beaten but...they’re still nice and dependable quality.
  • Getting to play lesser germanic states has given Germany a driver’s seat in getting into the Quarterfinal round. They will be beaten into the misbegotten earth, but it will be a QF finish as opposed to Did Not Compete.
  • Switzerland once again was punished for a lack of explosive talent, but managed to have a shockingly tight game against Austria to make it to Quarters. I don’t anticipate that being a long run, but it was nice for them to find some kind of win here.
  • Thanks for playing, Austria! We’ll notify your next of kin how brave you were.

Bruins at the World Juniors:

  • USA: Riley Duran has 5 points in 4 games (2g, 3a), and only 2 penalty minutes!
  • Latvia: Dans Locmelis had a sick goal in the shootout loss to the Slovaks, that’s been his tourney however.
  • Sweden: Fabian Lysell has been primarily an assist man this tourney. 1 goal and three assists through four games for him.

Quarter Finals Matchups:

  • Finland vs. Germany
  • Sweden vs. Latvia
  • Canada vs. Switzerland
  • USA vs. Czechia

Given that many of the black ace talents for some of the smaller teams aren’t playing in this tourney, I expect the Elimination round to be pretty smooth. We’ll get to Canada vs. someone somehow.

Or Latvia could go on a run.

You don’t know.

Quarterfinals begin on Wednesday, starting at 10am on NHLN and TSN.