2017 World Juniors Report (Day 2)

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Aged tournaments are some of the most unique tournaments on the international stage for the simple fact that they are almost never the same.

That is to say that the teams that every country puts forward in these tournaments are always different in one way or another.

When a tournament is based on age, the U18 or U17 tournaments, eventually great players are aged out to another level.

The World Juniors are another level to that as good players are aged out after they turn 20 but the best players are taken by the NHL.

Participation in this tournament is often based on whether or not a team will let their players attend the tournament during the season.

When a player is not in the NHL but rather in the AHL or CHL or another European league the decision is rarely to keep them around preferring they get the international tournament experience.

When these players make their NHL rosters though the decisions are almost always different because the NHL truly doesn’t care about this tournament.

It isn’t that they don’t appreciate the tournament but rather that when it comes to their team playing well or an international team doing well they will always pick their own teams.

That is why the best juniors in the world are often never in the tournament for more than a year as these players all make their NHL teams and are too valuable to let leave for the tournament.

So when teams are being made it is almost always a reset for the major teams in the tournament.

That can make it very tough on teams who are trying to get some consistency in the tournament because once they begin to build the team they want that team is gone.

It is especially tough on those teams that are not the powerhouses but still tend to lose their players.

These teams can really have a hard time finding consistency as they only see their top players for a couple years before they leave and there is no great feeder system.

They get their players in waves and once one wave is finished their time to sit on top of the tournament ends until the next wave begins.

Finland is looking to be a team like this especially after the first two days in the 2017 tournament.

The Finns are a country that is reaching a new age of hockey as they are beginning to produce great players more consistently.

The problem is when a country goes through this their Junior team doesn’t get to keep their stars for very long.

Last year the Finns enjoyed having one of the greatest young Finnish players ever in Patrik Laine who helped them to the gold medal.

Although he remains the right age to play in the tournament he is currently leading all rookies in scoring with the Winnipeg Jets.

It wasn’t a surprise when the Jets wouldn’t let him play with the Finnish Junior team preferring that he stay in the lineup to play for the Jets.

The Finns didn’t look like they were going to suffer too much as they still had a talented team even with a lack of experience.hockey-sidebar

They even had, what many people would consider, an easy start to their tournament as they were set to face the Czech Republic and Denmark in their first two games.

It was a schedule essentially meant to help them build up to their game against the Swedes which likely would have been the game to determine Group A.

The Finns didn’t live up to those expectations though as they lost to the Czechs in their opening game on Day 1.

Then they followed that up with a loss to the Danes in Day 2 in the biggest upset of the tournament so far.

The Finns are not the team that they were a year ago and they are having a terrible tournament so far after only two days.

They will need to pick it up as they have already fallen behind two teams that they should have beat.

If they can’t find a way past Switzerland they have a good shot of making it to relegation a year after they won the whole tournament.

If they can beat Switzerland they will have a chance in the playoffs to turn things around but right now it isn’t great for them.

They are suffering from the issues that many teams suffer from in these tournaments especially the ones without a factory of great players.

The Finns will try to find their way back as the tournament is still young but the defending champions are not starting off well.


Day 2:
Switzerland 4-3 Czech Republic (OT)
– The Czechs started off their tournament well as they took on the defending champions and won but their second performance was not as good as they took a loss to the Swiss in overtime only getting one point on the day

Russia 9-1 Latvia
– The Russians were clearly not too happy about their opening tournament loss to the Canadians and they took out that anger on the Latvians taking an easy win to get their first of the tournament

Denmark 3-2 Finland
– It was the biggest surprise of the tournament so far as the defending champions lost their second game in a row this time to the Danes who once again acted as the darlings of the tournament taking a win in their first game

Canada 5-0 Slovakia
– The Canadians continued a good start to their tournament as they took on an always tough Slovakia team and easily got by them for their second win of the tournament before their day off

Day 3:
Switzerland vs. Sweden (Wednesday, December 28th; 5:00 pm ET)
– The Swiss started their tournament well with a win in their first game even if it was only for two points in overtime but they will try to continue their success in a tougher game against the Swedes who try to take over their group with a second win

Slovakia vs. USA (Wednesday, December 28th; 7:30 pm ET)
– Slovakia has always been a bit of a tough out as they tend to fight until the end but their first game didn’t show that and now they try to get back in their second game against a very deep American team

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