2014 World Junior Update (Day 4)

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Day 4 in the World Juniors and most people are just recovering from the biggest upset in the tournament so far. The Canadians would lose their Day 3 game against the Czech Republic who had never beat the Canadians in the tournament. With the first upset over with there is sure to be a couple more but none would happen in day 4. There were only two games in the schedule for Day 4 and both were not much of a contest. The Americans would easily get by the Germans while the Swedes dominated the Norwegians in their game. It was a simple certification of teams who are sitting at the top of the pool standings. What may have caught the attention of most people though was a team at the bottom of the pool standings as the Germans made more news even in a big loss. For their game against the Americans the Germans would dress only 17 skaters leaving them widely outmanned. It pointed out a part of this tournament that is rarely a problem but can be if a team gets in trouble. When teams are made for the tournament they are only allowed to bring 23 players to the tournament. There are no alternates once the tournament begins as the 23 players that go into the tournament are the only players you have. This means that any injuries or suspensions reduce the amount of players you have at your disposal. The Germans ran into this issue as injuries have depleted their roster and have only left them with 17 players. The fact that their captain Leon Draisaitl was be kicked out in the second period for a hit from behind. The Germans will likely be short another player for their last game of the round robin or for more. It has affected many teams before as some players have been suspended for multiple games and have left their teams short a player. There are a few teams trying to deal with it now as the Canadians are still without Griffin Reinhart due to suspension in the 2013 tournament. There is also a bug running around the tournament as multiple players from many teams have been sidelined with the flu this year. It is an unfortunate part of the tournament as it becomes a serious consideration when teams are creating teams. They have to be sure that they are picking players that are not injury prone as an injury can really put a wrench in the team plans. The Germans will have to deal with their lack of a bench with only one more game left in the round robin and likely a best-of-three game series with a shortened bench. Meanwhile other teams in the tournament are hoping that they can stay healthy and away from suspensions as the playoffs are fast approaching and teams are ready for their run at the medals. The biggest night of the tournament is coming up soon as New Year’s Eve will see come of the toughest games for all teams as the cobwebs need to be shaken out now before it creeps into the playoffs. Teams like the Canadians need to avoid any more surprises to try to make their way to the medals. With only a few games left in the round robin everything is becoming more clear and teams are hoping that they can blaze a path to the podium without injuries or suspensions to crowd their road.

 

Scores:
USA 8 – 0 Germany
– The Americans would come out firing in the second period scoring four goals in the period and scoring a total of 6 powerplay goals as the Americans solidified their spot at the top of the pool while the Germans are in playoff mode with only one game left to save them

Sweden 10 – 0 Norway
– The Swedes continued their strong tournament this year as they made sure they left no doubt against the Norwegians scoring 5 powerplay goals on their way to another win to take over the top spot in Pool B and force the Norwegians closer to relegation

 

Standings: 

Pool A:
1. USA (9)
2. Canada (4)
3. Slovakia (3)
4. Czech Republic (2)
5. Germany (0)

Pool B:
1. Sweden (9)
2. Russia (6)
3. Finland (3)
4. Switzerland (0)
5. Norway (0)

 

Day 5:
Czech Republic vs. Germany (Monday December 30th; 7:30 am ET)
– The Germans need to win this game in regulation as 3 points will push them ahead of the Czechs for a spot in the playoffs while a loss or an overtime effort means Germany will enter the relegation series

Russia vs. Finland (Monday December 30th; 9:00 am ET)
– The Russians will begin their big games on Day 5 as they take on the Finns who will be looking to upset the Russians while the Russians are trying to get back to the top of Pool B before they face the Swedes on New Year’s

Canada vs. Slovakia (Monday December 30th; 11:30 am ET)
– Canada did not impress in their game against he Czechs and now they take on the Slovaks in a dangerous trap game that the Slovakians have won multiple times in big upsets while the Canadians look to regain momentum before their big game on New Year’s

Switzerland vs. Norway (Monday December 30th; 1:00 pm ET)
– Norway and Switzerland have yet to win this year and this game will mean the different between making the playoffs and going to the relegation series as the winner goes to the playoffs and the loser could be headed to Tier 2

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