2014 World Junior Update (Semi-Finals)

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The Medal rounds are set as the 2014 tournament is set to finish with some surprises and some expected finishes in the Semi-Finals. The second last day of the tournament would see the day start with a matchup of what many considered to be the two best teams in Pool A. The swedes have been the best team throughout the entire tournament and they would look to prove that true against the Russians. The Russians were looking for some revenge in the rematch of their first loss of the tournament. Their first game was a good one as the Swedes would win by only one goal to help them to the Pool a lead while the Russians came up just short. The game would be the same as the first as the Russians would once again take the loss in the game. It would be another close one as the Swedes would only get it again by one goal. It would be another frustrating loss for the Russians and that frustration would come out at the end of the game when they would get into a fight with the Swedes. The fight may very well end in suspensions for either team as they head into the medal rounds of the tournament. When all the dust was settled it was the home team that would be walking away with what they wanted as they will have the chance to win Gold this year in front of their home crowd. Meanwhile the Russians would disappoint again and will finish outside of the top two and could finish without a medal. They would face the loser of the next semi-final game between the Canadians and the Finns. The game on paper looked like it was Canada’s to lose as the Finns had never beat the Canadians in the tournament for the last 12 years. Then again the Czech Republic had never beat the Canadians at the tournament and would break that streak this year. The Canadians and Finns came out sluggish in the game but would fire things up in the 2nd period. The Finns would shut down everything the Canadians were trying to earn goals and would get a lucky bounce to open the scoring. From there the Canadians would fall apart giving the Finns the opportunity to take over the game. The Finns would do exactly that beating the Canadians and moving on into the Gold Medal game. Now the medals will be decided in the last day of the tournament and both games will feature some of the biggest rivalries in the tournament. In the bronze medal game the Canadians will take on the Russians in the best hockey rivalry in the world. Last year the Russians and Canadians would face off in the same game with the Russians coming out on top and forcing the Canadians to leave without a medal. The game is likely to be chippy as both teams have been undisciplined in the tournament and both are very frustrated that they will not play for gold this year. Add all of that to the fact that these two teams truly do hate each other and there are sure to be some fireworks. In the gold medal game the home team and the almost home team will face off and once again show their rivalry. The Finns and the Swedes are right beside each other and have fought forever for superiority in whatever it they are involved in. For hockey the superiority has generally gone the way of the Swedes as they are the better hockey nation. The Finns are a sneaky team though and as the Canadians proved if you overlook them there you will pay because they have the talent to win gold. For the Swedes it is a chance to win at home while for the Finns it is a chance to spoil the party and to go from a 7th place finish in 2013 to the gold in 2014. Two rivalries highlight the last day of the tournament while the relegation series continues in their third and final game as Norway and Germany try to avoid being replaced by Denmark who won the second division. The tournament is almost over and another champion will be crowned but there is sure to be a fight for every medal this year as four teams with a history are set to face off and determine the top of the heap in Junior hockey.

 

Semi-Finals:
Sweden 2 – 1 Russia
– The Swedes would get by once again as Andrei Vasilevski did everything he could to give the Russians a win but it was not enough as Russia moves to the bronze medal game while the Swedes play at home for gold

Finland 5 – 1 Canada
– The Canadians were supposed to win this game but it seemed like they expected to and the Finns took advantage as they would score on a lucky bounce that changed the game and began a dominant game by the Finns the rest of the way

Relegation:
Germany 4 – 3 Norway
– The Germans shook off their first loss and finally got their heads on straight in game two of the best-of-three series and would even up the series forcing a third game and extending their time in the top division

 

Gold Medal:
Sweden vs. Finland (Sunday January 5th; 1:00 pm ET)
– The Scandinavian rivalry goes again but this time for something much more important as both teams will go home with a medal but both want the gold and will have to go through their longtime rivals to get it

Bronze Medal:
Canada vs. Russia (Sunday January 5th; 9:00 am ET)
– It is a familiar matchup as the Russians and Canadians have put together some of the best games in the history of the Juniors and will look to do it again as they face off to at least save face and win a medal

Relegation:
Germany vs. Norway (Sunday January 5th; 6:00 am ET)
– It is the final game in the new relegation series and the Germans are looking to stay on the top-tier in a series they should win but the Norwegians are not giving up as they will fight to the end to keep their spot in the top-tier

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