2019 World Juniors Report (Day 1)

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The 2019 version of the tournament is now underway and like in every major IIHF tournament a good start is always key.

These tournaments do not last for a long time as there are only a few teams involved and the round robin will only see four games for each team before a team determines their fate.

That makes every game an important one which is why these tournaments are so exciting as anything can offset the balance.

Heading into the tournament there are always the favourite teams who are the clear favourites to take home at least a medal.

They aren’t the only ones who are fighting a battle though as the teams that usually sink to the bottom of the standings are fighting their own fight.

While the top teams look for positioning, the bottom teams look to stay out of the relegation to ensure they stay at the top tier of the tournament.

There is importance for every team in every game no matter how far gone some teams might be from the others.

In the first games of the tournament teams see a chance to get ahead early and get those important first points.

It can be a challenge to get that win for a lot of teams especially when the tournament begins as many of these teams are just coming together now.

Although most have played pre-tournament games a lot of those games are to determine who will make the team.

It doesn’t necessarily give them the chance to develop into a full team where they know where everyone is going to be at any moment.

The Starting off the tournament with only a few games that were essentially tryouts for the players that first game can be a tricky one.

It is often why the best teams in the tournament get an easier game to start things off as they have the room to make a mistake.

These games are often never going to be a competition but they can also act as trap games especially when those tricky teams get involved.

Those are the teams that often find a win against one of the top teams although they rarely are in the running for a medal.

Teams like Slovakia or Switzerland can find that extra gear to get past the big teams in the tournament.

When they get the chance to take on those teams early in the tournament before they can get in a groove it is a chance for an upset.

Both of those teams were in action on the first day of the tournament and both had their chance to launch that upset early to upset the way the tournament was going to play out.

The Swiss were going to take on the Czech Republic to open the tournament in their best shot for an upset against one of the major hockey powers.

The Czechs have never been able to translate their power into the junior ranks but they have great talent coming through and always have a chance at a medal.

The Swiss were going to try to take their spot and find their way into the top of the standings and take a step towards the medal round.

They fought to get there but in the end, they weren’t able to get past the Czechs who took the 2-1 win in overtime.

The Slovakians were heading into a bigger game where they were trying to upset the Americans, one of the best teams in recent years.

The Slovakians are that team that tends to play up to the moment and every year they seem to knock off one of the best teams.hockey-sidebar

They had a chance as the Americans were looking great again this year and had a chance to take home the gold, which would be their second in three years.

The Americans did struggle as the Slovakians got on the board first to take an early lead and it wasn’t until the third that the Americans got on the board.

They took a 2-1 lead late in the game to take the win and avoid the upset leaving the first day without a major shock.

The Canadians took care of the Danes with a 14-0 win in their opening game at home while the Swedes and Finns were the only teams with a major challenge when they played each other.

Sweden took an early lead in the game and never looked back fending off their rivals throughout the game and only allowing one goal in the third.

The Finns were unable to get their tournament started right and now have less of a chance at getting their spot at the top of the group.

Instead, they are playing from behind needing to get wins to give them a small hope of passing the Swedes who are starting off just a little ahead.

The start of the tournament is so important for every team as everyone wants to begin on the right note.

Some did and proved that they are real contenders while others stumbled bringing some doubt into the minds of many.

What happens from here is up for debate though as there is a lot of tournament left to play and teams will be looking to climb back into contention.

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