2016 World Juniors Report (Day 2)

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This year’s World Juniors have featured a number of very important games only two days into the tournament.

The first day featured a Canada-USA match-up that might go a long way to determining the winner of Group A.

The USA took the win and moved to the top as they look ahead to trying to beat Sweden in their next game.

That game will now be the biggest indication of who wins the Group A title as the winner will take first place halfway through the group stage.

Thanks to the American win in Day 1 they are in the position to make a big impact while Canada needs to beat Denmark and Switzerland before their match-up against Sweden on New Year’s Eve.

That game could be important for the top positioning and avoiding one of the powerhouses in Group B for the first playoff game.

What wasn’t supposed to be too important was a match-up between Russia and Czech Republic.

Russia was supposed to easily win but instead took the win in a shootout which reduced their points to only two.

That put them behind Finland and now they will need to hope the Finland loses a game or gets pushed to overtime if they hope to win the group.

All of these big games in Day 1 featured the teams that everyone expects to be competing for the medals in the New Year but Day 2 featured teams on the other side of the standings.

In both groups Day 2 featured games that have likely already determined the relegation series without either team fighting for the rest of the tournament.

Switzerland, Denmark, Belarus, and Slovakia are not considered the teams to watch this year.

Despite the fact that Slovakia won a medal last year they are not expected to be one of the top three with top teams ahead of them.

That made the Day 2 match-ups so much more important as Switzerland took on Denmark in Group A while Belarus faced off with Slovakia in Group B.hockey-sidebar

Every team was essentially expected to win maybe one game this year and that win was going to come in Day 2.

They were not expected to compete with the best teams in either group so this was going to be their one win of the season.

That meant that these games were likely going to be their only wins which meant that the winner of game could earn fourth place, staying out of the relegation series and giving them a spot in the quarter-finals.

Both were tough games as no team was given an easy road out of relegation with great performance by all four teams.

In Group A the Danes took the win against a Swiss team that went into the game without three of their players who were suspended after their game against Sweden where they injured two Swedish players.

The Swiss got out to an early lead in the game but a great third period by the Danes finished things off and earning a win.

In Group B the Slovakians were expected to win against Belarus but the Belarusians gave them a fight that many didn’t expect.

They stayed tied throughout the first two periods but eventually the Slovaks went ahead and took the win in the third.

For Denmark and Slovakia it was a great day as they earned what might end up being their only and their biggest win of the tournament.

If they go on to lose the rest of their games they will still have a win against Belarus and Switzerland.

That could put them just outside of the bottom of the groups which means they will play in the quarter-finals and avoid relegation.

For Switzerland and Belarus they will need to surprise everyone and take a win against a far better team if they want to do anything in the tournament.

It doesn’t seem to be a good chance for either though as they will likely begin preparing to face each other in a best of three series to determine who stays in the top tier and who will move down to the second tier of the junior tournament.

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Day 2:
Slovakia 4 – 2 Belarus
– It was a tougher fight than most had thought for the Bronze medal winning team from a year ago as the Slovaks opened their tournament with the Belarusians who came to play but couldn’t finish it off with the Slovakians taking the win

Denmark 2 – 1 Switzerland
– Switzerland entered the game without three players after suspensions from their first game and it hurt them in a big way against Denmark who came back in the third period to score two goals and take the win

Day 3:
Czech Republic vs. Slovakia (Monday December 28th; 7:00 am ET)
– The Slovaks are looking to repeat their medal winning performance from a year gap and their best chance to get a better spot in the playoffs is to beat the Czechs while the Czechs try to show that their performance against Russia was no fluke

USA vs. Sweden (Monday December 28th; 9:00 am ET)
– The Americans took their first big test against the Rival Canadians and now they get their next big test in Sweden in a game that will likely determine first place in Group A and the best match-up in the first round

Finland vs. Russia (Monday December 28th; 11:00 am ET)
– Russia needs this win in regulation as they need the three points after losing in a shootout and only gaining two points after their first game as they have no hope of taking first place without a win against the home team

Denmark vs. Canada (Monday December 28th; 1:00 pm ET)
– Denmark is coming off of a win and they gave plenty of teams issues last year but the Canadians might be motivated after losing to their rivals in their first game as they try to take their first win of the tournament

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