2014 World Junior Update (Quarter-Finals)

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The World Juniors are stepping closer to the medals as the Quarter-finals would begin with 8 teams looking to get a chance at the podium. As these eight teams began their playoff rounds two more teams would sit in the relegation and look to get comfortable seeing each other. The Relegation series would open up the day for the World Juniors as Norway and Germany looked to take the first shot in the best-of-3 series. Going in the series looked be Germany’s to lose with Norway yet to win a game while the Germans showed some life in their game against the Czech Republic earning their only three points of the tournament. The Norwegians would come out firing though and would take the first win in the series, thanks to the discipline, or lack thereof, by the Germans. Germany would get into penalty trouble led by their captain Leon Draisaitl who took a game misconduct for high sticking that would lead to two powerplay goals by Norway. It would be the difference in the game as the Norwegians took the win and the lead in the series as they are now one game away from staying in the top division. Next game will be an important one for the Germans as they are looking to prevent embarrassment and get even in the series by staying disciplined and beating the Norwegians. The relegation would open the day with a big surprise but it would not be the last surprise of the day. After going through the entire round robin looking like the giants that won the gold last year the Americans would see the toughest test in the quarterfinals as they would take on the Russians. Still the Americans were favorites as their loss against the Canadians was seen as a blip in what looked to be a good year while the Russians had shown signs of weakness throughout the round robin. The Russians would take advantage of a clearly flustered American team that seemed to be more concerned about their loss against Canada than their game against the Russians. The Americans would try to take out their frustrations on the Russians and would pay for it with penalties that the Russians would take full advantage of. The Russians would take the 5-3 win and eliminate the defending champions from the medal hunt. The other games would not provide much of a surprise as the two top teams in the pools would find their way to the semi-finals The Canadians would seem energized by their win against the Americans and would easily move past the Swiss to at least play for a medal this year. The Swedes would handle the Slovakians that were trying to remain the upset kings but would find themselves demolished by what remains the best looking team in the tournament. Now the attention turns to the semi-finals this weekend when the Swedes and Russians face off for the second time this year while the Canadians meet the Finns for the first time in the tournament. The Swedes would hand the Russians their second loss of the tournament in a tight game. The Russians are looking for revenge while the Swedes look to continue their winning streak into the Gold Medal game in front of their home crowd. The Swedish team has looked like the best team in the tournament this year but the Russians kept it close in their last game and with Andrei Vasilevski in net it is possible that the Russians pull off the upset and move into the gold medal game. In the other semi-final the Canadians seemed to shake off an iffy start to the tournament to look like a true contender. After losing to the Czech Republic and coming very close to losing to Slovakians and the USA the Canadians looked very good against the Swiss. The Finns are a much tougher test though, and they will be looking to prove that against the Canadians and earn some revenge from their pre-tournament loss to the Canadians. The Finns have quietly gone through the tournament and earned second place thanks to their upset of the Russians and they are hoping to prove that it was no fluke as they try to earn a gold medal berth lose to home. The Canadians are trying to get the gold medal berth and guarantee a medal a year after finishing 4th as they look to return to gold for the first time in 5 years. The games are set and the teams are getting closer to the medal rounds as there are only 4 teams left vying for gold and all are sure to give everything to get there.

 

Quarter-Finals:
Russia 5 – 3 USA
– The Americans would get into penalty trouble and Nikita Zadorov would make them pay with two powerplay goals that would prove to be the tying and winning goal eliminating last year’s champions from the medals

Finland 5 – 3 Czech Republic
– The Finns were considered a better team but a team that his hard to predict when it gets to the playoffs and the Czechs were hoping for an upset that would never come as the Finns won and moved on the to Semi-Finals and one step closer to a medal

Canada 4 – 1 Switzerland
– The Canadians looked like a different team in this game as they would never trail in this game unlike every other game of the tournament and they would ride that quick momentum to the win and the semi-finals

Sweden 6 – 0 Slovakia
– The Slovakians have become known for their great upsets in this tournament but they would not pull one off this time as the Swedes would easily get by them and prove once again to be the team to watch this year

Relegation:
Norway 3 – 0 Germany
– The Germans were supposed to be a better team this year but they find themselves in relegation and they seem to hate it as they would take out some frustration against the Norwegians but it would lead to a loss in the first of a best-of-three game series

 

Semi-Finals:
Sweden vs. Russia (Saturday January 4th; 9:00 am ET)
– The Swedes and the Russians would finish their pool play against each other with a 3-2 Sweden win and the Russians are looking to avenge that loss as they hope to upset the favorites in the tournament

Canada vs. Finland (Saturday January 4th; 1:00 pm ET)
– The Canadians are playing well leading into their important games but they cannot get too ahead of themselves as the Finnish team could take advantage if the Canadians look past them and think about the gold medal game before their semi-finals

Relegation:
Norway vs. Germany (January 3rd; 10:00 am ET)
– The Germans took out their frustration on the Norwegians in the first game but they will need to settle down if they want to stay in the top-tier as Norway is only one game from pushing Germany to the second division

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