There certainly hasn’t been a World Juniors tournament this competitive in quite some time. Coming into the annual New Year’s Eve finale of round robin games, both Pool A and B standings are wide open. Traditional powerhouses like Canada and the U.S. are in a dogfight after losing earlier games to Czechia and Slovakia, respectively.
Just how competitive has the opening week of games been? Czechia and Slovakia are in position to win their pools. Canada and the U.S. could finish anywhere from first to third. It’s a pretty wild situation.
Standings and Scenarios
1. Sweden – 9 points
2. Czechia – 7 pts
3. Canada – 6 pts
4. Germany – 3 pts
5. Austria – 0 pts
1. Finland – 7 points
2. Slovakia – 6 pts
3. USA – 6 pts
4. Switzerland – 4 pts
5. Latvia – 1 pt
In international play, the points are distributed a tad different than in the NHL. A regulation win is worth 3 points, an overtime win 2 points, and an overtime loss 1 point.
New Year’s Eve Schedule
Switzerland vs. Slovakia – 8 a.m.
Czechia vs. Germany – 10:30 a.m.
USA vs. Finland – 1 p.m.
Canada vs. Sweden — 3:30 p.m.
Here’s what all of this means…
— Sweden wins the group with a win of any kind over Canada. If Sweden loses in OT, they can still win the group if Czechia doesn’t beat Germany in regulation.
— Czechia wins the group if they beat Germany and if Canada beats Sweden.
— Canada wins the group if they beat Sweden in regulation and Czechia loses to Germany.
— Finland wins the group if they beat USA.
— Slovakia wins the group if they beat Switzerland in regulation and USA beats Finland.
— USA wins the group if they beat Finland and Slovakia loses to Switzerland.
NOTE: There is also the possibility of a three-way tie for the No. 1 seed. We’ll avoid that complicated math for right now.
LA Kings Prospects at WJC
With three LA drafted players in the tournament, there hasn’t been as many opportunities for Kings prospects to face each other as in years past. However, that’s about to change. Saturday’s Finland-USA game will feature some Kings on Kings Crime. Otto Salin of Finland will be suiting up against Kenny Connors and Team USA.
Here’s how each prospect has performed through three games:
Otto Salin, Finland, D – 3 points (0G, 3A)
Brandt Clarke, Canada, D – 3 points (1G, 2A)
Kenny Connors, USA, F – 0 points
More on each player can be found in the article linked below.
Photo via IIHF / Team Canada
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