2017 World Juniors Report (Day 4)

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Most international hockey fans will admit that they cheer for other teams when they are not facing their own.

They will always hope that their own team can make it to the gold medal but more often than not there are those teams that capture the hearts of the home fans.

These teams are very rarely the dominant teams as those dominant teams often draw the hate more than the love.

They have won enough gold medals that they really don’t need any extra support to get through the tournament.

The teams that find that unexpected support are usually the ones that everyone expects to sit at the bottom of the tournament and fight to stay in the top tier.

These teams are full of players that not many people will hear from ever again but that makes all of them dangerous.

They know that this could be their biggest stage and some years those players take a step up and begin playing above what everyone expects.

When a team can do that and they begin beating teams that most people think they have no business beating, they quickly become folk heroes of the tournament.

It has happened at every level as players have gone down in history as legends for the fans of the tournament.

Teams remain in the memories of fans long after the tournament is over even if they don’t go on to win gold.

This year that team has made themselves known as the Danes are quickly winning over fans in Montreal.

They launched the first major upset of the tournament when they beat the Finns and for many that was likely where it was going to end.

Then the Danes went into Day 4 where they were able to beat the Czech Republic in their second win of the tournament.

That second win on Day 4 meant that the Danes were ready to take second place in Group A right behind the Swedes.

It gave them a spot in the quarter-finals and showed that they were ready to compete this year.

It has also made them one of the favourite teams of the tournament as they are the surprise of the year.

Not many expected them to do much in the tournament but it shouldn’t really be a major surprise to anyone.hockey-sidebar

After all the Danes spent most of last year’s tournaments in the same position as they captured the hearts of everyone in Finland.

They did it with a big win over Switzerland that helped them get into the playoffs and they added to it with an overtime loss against the Russians.

After going through the tournament without a lot of success, nobody thought that they could really make some noise in the playoffs.

They pushed the Russians to overtime in one of the biggest surprises of the tournament and immediately the Danes were a fan favourite.

All that is happening now is a continuation of that year as they followed up their first win in the top tier of the Juniors with two wins in the round robin.

It is somewhat surprising after they took a big loss against the Swedes and looking like they were brought down to earth with that loss.

They fought through though and now will move into Day 5 with their last game against the Swiss hoping for their third win of the tournament.

That win will put them into second place in the group and give them the third place team in Group B.

It isn’t the greatest reward as Group B is full of the best teams in the tournament and the third place team seems like it will be Russia.

If that is the case it will set up an interesting rematch from a year ago with a Russian team that has been underwhelming this year.

Still, the Danes are taking over this tournament for another year with everyone talking about their surprising rise.

The question that needs to be asked now though is whether or not this is just a team punching above their weight.

Or could this just be a sign that the Danes are ready to be constant competitors in the Juniors and are ready to make a bigger impact on international hockey?

It doesn’t mean they are going to win a medal anytime soon but it could mean that their time fighting to stay out of relegation could be over.


Day 4:
Denmark 3-2 Czech Republic (OT)
– The Danes were back at it as they once again launched and upset to win their second game of the tournament and move into second place behind the Swedes in Group A as they continue their best tournament ever

USA 3-2 Russia
– An old rivalry was renewed and it was another tough battle for both teams but the Americans came out on top of the Russians setting up what will be a battle for first in Group B on New Year’s Eve when they play Canada

Sweden 3-1 Finland
– It certainly hasn’t been the tournament for the defending champions as they continue to lose taking another loss, their third of the tournament and setting up an all-important game against Switzerland to avoid relegation

Canada 10-1 Latvia
– The Canadians didn’t necessarily start out really well as they were undisciplined taking too many penalties but they got through it and put up 10 goals against the Latvians to set up a first-place showdown on New Year’s Eve

Day 5:
Switzerland vs. Denmark (Friday, December 30th; 5:00 pm ET)
– Denmark looks to go from a team that rarely stayed among the top tier of the sport to a second place team and if they can beat the Swiss in regulation they will gain their third win of the tournament and will guarantee their second place spot

Slovakia vs. Latvia (Friday, December 30th; 7:30 pm ET)
– With both teams failing to win a game so far in the tournament this game will be their biggest one as the winner will move into fourth place and will stay in the top tier while the loser heads to relegation

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