2015 World Juniors Report: Day 6

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The round robin is over for the 2015 tournament and the biggest games are just about to get started. After the change in standings and the wins and losses were tallied two teams stand at the top of the tournament with 12 points each and will head into the playoffs as the two best teams in the tournament. After a big battle in Group B the Canadians will get the Danes who squeaked into the playoffs after Switzerland lost their final game and the Czechs won their game. Denmark is nowhere near a favourite in this quarter-final matchup as Canada has looked great all tournament. Still the Danes are a scrappy team that has proved that they are the best team in a long time to come out of Denmark winning the country’s first game in the top tier of the tournament. Meanwhile the Swedes will take on their longtime rival in a much different matchup than last year. The Finns and Swedes were in the gold medal game a year ago and the Finns came out on top winning the gold medal and spoiling the day for the tournament hosts. Now Sweden gets a chance to exact some revenge against their neighbours, albeit for a different prize. It is one of the more intriguing quarter-final matchups this year as the Finns have not looked like they team that won the gold last year but there will be no shortage of motivation to step up their game against the rivals. It seems like the swedes have the upper hand in this game but they can’t overlook Finland in a game that could easily go either way. As the top two teams prepare for their quarter-final matchups the teams that fell short in the race for #1 will be set in their much tougher battle towards the gold medal. The toughest road will be given to the Russians who lost their last game and fell to third place. They were still in the fight though but they will have to get by the Americans to get to the semi-finals. The Americans will not be too happy with the matchup either. Two powers of the tournament will be forced to face-off but only one will have a chance at a medal. The Americans have looked great all tournament but could not get by the Canadians while the Russians have not looked like themselves this year. Still either team can take the win in another very close quarter-final matchup. The rivalries will also continue when the Czech Republic faces off with Slovakia in the final quarter-final. There is plenty of hate between these two teams from their long history. As with any rivalry there is a chance that either team could win if they harness the emotion properly. The Czechs have not been as strong as expected while the Slovaks are still a solid team that could take the win. It will be yet another close call in the quarter-finals as the first round of the playoffs see plenty of good matchups as the pursuit of the gold really begins. While these eight teams look to stay alive for a medal two more teams will just try to stay alive in the tournament. Germany and Switzerland will fight it out in the relegation series as they hope to remain in the top tier. The Germans were expected to be here and they proved that they do not have what it takes to compete with the other teams in the tournament. They were unable to score a goal in the tournament this year and for that fell to the bottom of Group A. The fight was different in Group B as the Swiss lost their final game and were pushed into the relegation series by a Czech Republic win. Now both teams will need to win two more games if they hope to stay in the top tier of the tournament while the loser will fall to Division I. The tournament is set to begin its most important few days as the sprint begins and every game is the difference between continuing to play hockey and being sent home empty-handed.

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Day 6:
Sweden 5 – 1 Switzerland
– The Swiss needed a win to stay in the hunt while a loss and a few other aspects to the day would send them to the relegation round but they couldn’t get it done as they lost and waited to see the chips fall

Canada 5 – 3 USA
– It has been one of the best rivalries in the World Juniors as these teams continue to fight it out and rarely finish much more than a goal apart as they put together another great game where the Canadians came out on top and took Group A

Czech Republic 4 – 1 Russia
– The Czech Republic needed a win to stay out of relegation but they had to take on the Russians to do so, which turned out to be a good thing as the Russians weren’t much of a match for the Czechs who won and took second place in Group B

Finland 2 – 0 Germany
– The Germans had one last chance to stay out of relegation this year despite not scoring a goal as a win would push them ahead of Finland and force the Finns to relegation, the Germans couldn’t do it though as they failed to score again and lost their fourth straight game

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