2017 World Juniors Report (Semi-Finals)

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There was little to expect in the semi-finals but in the best way possible as nobody knew what was about to happen with the big match-ups to determine the medal games.

The quarter-finals were full of the best teams in the tournament’s history and all of those teams found their way to the semi-finals.

It wasn’t the most interesting result in terms of seeing new teams trying to find their way to the medals but it did create a great two games in the semi-finals.

That is because there were four very good teams that have been good for years and that all came into the tournament as medal favourites ready to face-off for the chance to play for gold.

Putting these teams together brought plenty of speculation about the results but there wasn’t an easy pick among them.

Could the Americans continue to roll out their deep offensive talent to lead from start to finish against the Russians?

Would the Russians finally figure things out and play up to their potential rather than just staying middle of the road against the Americans?

Could the Swedes make good on their early favourite status by beating the home team?

Would the Canadians falter under the pressure like they did against the Americans when they took on one of the most talented teams in the tournament?

All of these questions led to some interesting match-ups for the semi-finals between some of the biggest powers in hockey.

Despite the lack of new blood, it is what everyone wants to see as the best against the best is what fans watch for in these tournaments.

That is what they got and the semi-finals showed just how good all of these teams are while also showing just how close all of these teams are getting.

In the first semi-final, the Americans were able to get by the Russians but it was far from an easy game for either team.

The Russians struck first putting the Americans behind for the first time all tournament and setting up what would be a test for one of the top teams in the tournament.

The Americans were able to come back and after a back and forth game neither could take the advantage forcing the game to overtime.

When overtime solved nothing the teams went to a shootout where both teams traded blows until the USA came out on top moving into the gold medal game.

The Russians once again disappointed and now will have to get up for the bronze medal game to continue their medal streak.hockey-sidebar

The next game pitted the home team against one of the early favourites as the Swedes looked to get over the hump that is the semi-finals, a round they have struggled in for years.

It started out well enough for the Swedes who went ahead in the first but the Canadians stayed with them evening the game soon after.

Another back and forth affair eventually gave way to the Canadians who started to build a lead before scoring an empty-net goal in the third period to finish things off and take a 5-2 win.

The Swedes couldn’t find their way to the gold for another year while the Canadians recovered from a heart-breaking loss to the Americans on New Year’s Eve.

Now the Canadians will get a chance for some revenge against one of their biggest rivals in this tournament, the Americans.

The USA has been one of the most dominant teams this year finding their way through the toughest group without losing a game.

Their depth up front has been as impressive as many thought while they answered a lot of questions on defence especially in their game against Canada.

The Canadians have been slightly less impressive at times with what seems like a lack of fire in some games, against the USA and at the start of their quarter-final game against the Czechs.

The talent is there but they have sometimes faltered and whether it is the pressure of the home crowd or just the pressure of a big game something wasn’t right in some games.

Now they look to get back their old selves much like they did against the Swedes against the only team that truly shut them down this year.

It will be tough as the Americans figured them out much like they figured out every other team in the tournament this year.

It will be another important match-up between these two countries in their history on the ice and it should only continue the great playoffs through this tournament.


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