2013 World Juniors Report (Day 5)

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The world Juniors saw their first of the big rivalries in the tournament on Day 5 when the Canadians took on the Americans. Rivalries are what make sports so great and in international tournaments it is no different. There is a unique part of the international rivalry though as these rivalries are not made between teams who play against each other often. In fact these teams play each other rarely as they really only see each other as a team once a year. Every time that these teams play each other it is also a new team as payers come and go from national teams with very few actually playing multiple years in a row. Still with all of this in the way teams still find ways to create huge rivalries. For Day 5 the USA and Canada represent one of the more recent rivalries as it has only been in the last few years that both teams have really seen their rivalry explode. The rivalry has always been there as both countries share a border and are always battling . The one thing that the Canadians absolutely had over the Americans was hockey as Canadians always dominated the Americans. Lately though that has not been the case as USA Hockey has rebuilt their program to be one of the best programs in the world. That includes the Juniors who have taken a bit longer to develop into a force in the tournament. What helps this rivalry though is the fact that many of these players play against each other on their junior teams or in the AHL as many of the players are on the same path to the NHL. Another big part of this rivalry is the fact that both teams play the same style of hockey and they both look to be the more physical team when they play. The Canadians would get the better of the rivalry this time around although not without some action between the two teams. As the round robin comes to a close in Day 6 the biggest rivalries of the tournament will finally take place as four teams look to their last game for a lot more than just beating their rival. The first one will be between the Swedish and Finnish teams who have a rivalry much like the one between Canada and USA. Both countries are right beside each other and are the two largest countries in Scandinavia. They constantly battle each other with great talent on both sides of the ice. They also play much the same style as each other as they value skill and speed along with good goaltending. In Day 6 they will face off in what will be a must win game against the Swedes as if they lose they are out of the medal rounds and into relegation. After these two face off it will be one of the biggest rivalries in international hockey between the two best hockey nations in the world. The Russia-Canada rivalry is a rivalry simply made between the two teams that face off against each other in the most important games. The Canadians have always taken hockey as their own game but the Russians love to challenge that claim. This rivalry has been going on for years and became a great rivalry in the 1972 Summit Series between the two teams. Since then the Russians and Canadians have become perennial favorites in every tournament they enter including the World Juniors. Now both will face off with the Russians playing at home and looking to pass the Canadians for first place in the pool and a quarter-final bye. Rivalries run the sports world and on the final day of the round robin in the World Juniors fans will see two including one of the best rivalries in international hockey.

 

Scores:
Finland 5 – 4 Switzerland (SO)
– Finland put themselves in a tough spot as they went down early to the Swiss and tied it in the last-minute to move into a shootout for the win that has kept them in the top three for the time being although moving on from the round robin is still not guaranteed

Canada 2 – 1 USA
– The border war between the USA and Canada saw another chapter as the Canadians went ahead 2-0 early but let the Americans back in and despite a number of late penalties the Americans still put pressure until the last second

Czech Republic 4 – 2 Latvia
– The Czechs are looking pave their way into the medal rounds and they got that much closer to doing just that as they handed Latvia another loss in the tournament to put themselves sin the 2nd spot with one game left

Slovakia 2 – 1 Germany
–  Slovakia has set themselves up great for a chance to see past the round robin as they beat the Germans to give them a chance to advance when they take on the Americans in Day 6 of the tournament

 

Standings: 

Pool A:
1. Sweden (8)
2. Czech Republic (6)
3. Finland (5)
4. Switzerland (5)
5. Latvia (0)

 

Pool B:
1. Canada (9)
2. Russia (8)
3. USA (3)
4. Slovakia (3)
5. Germany (0)

 

Day 6:
Switzerland vs. Czech Republic (Monday December 31st; 2:30 am EST)
– Pool A is almost entirely wide open as one or both of these teams can find their way to the medal round although overtime might be the only way as the winner will be in and the loser will have to wait and see

USA vs. Slovakia (Monday December 31st; 5:00 am EST)
– It is a simple result for these two teams as the winner of this game will be in the medal rounds while the loser will see themselves fall to the relegation round and end their hopes of playing for a medal this year

Sweden vs. Finland (Monday December 31st; 7:00 am EST)
– A great regional rivalry will mean even more this time as the Swedes are playing for pride while the Finns need this win to stay in the medal round as a win can guarantee their spot and a loss could eliminate them from contention

Canada vs. Russia (Monday December 31st; 9:00 am EST)
– The greatest hockey rivalry takes place again and again they will be playing for the top spot as the winner of this game will sit in first place in Pool B and the loser will move to the quarter-finals of the medal round

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