2019 World Juniors Report (Day 6)

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The group stage is finished and now it is time for the playoffs to begin as teams have sorted themselves out.

Group B was always going to be the more difficult of the two groups as the organizers put together a group with three very good teams.

Sweden, Finland and the USA were going to fight for the top spot as all three had aspirations of winning gold.

It was going to be a tough fight but the Swedes took the first big win when they beat their rivals on the first day.

Sweden had the inside track and after beating the Americans in Day 4 they were on their way to the first place.

The team that barely lost the gold medal a year ago was on top of the tougher group and ready to make another run.

It left the Americans and the Finns to fight for second place and a more favourable matchup in the quarterfinals.

New Year’s Eve would give both teams that opportunity and the Americans did a good job of taking that win.

They took second place and will get a better matchup while the Finns have to go through a much tougher team.

Another big battle was near the bottom of the group as Kazakhstan and Slovakia were both looking to stay out of relegation.

Slovakia looked like the better teams from the start as they were able to give a few of the big teams a challenge.

They couldn’t get a win though and had to wait until Day 5 when they were able to beat Kazakhstan easily.

That win would solidify their spot in the playoffs while the loss by Kazakhstan ensured that they would be fighting for their lives in the top tier.

As the more difficult of the groups was settled, Group A had a few more mysteries in the teams with a slightly closer group.

The Canadians and Russians were always likely to play for first place and on New Year’s Eve, they did exactly that.

Despite being outplayed the Russians took advantage of the opportunities while the Canadians couldn’t finish.

The Russians took the win and took first place giving them a date with Slovakia in the quarterfinals.

The Canadians finished second due to that loss and they now will take on the Finns in their quarterfinal matchup.

The fight below the top two was just as exciting as the Czechs took advantage of their opening game in the tournament.

They beat the Swiss in overtime giving them a good chance at taking second place and after another win over Denmark on New Year’s Eve they solidified their spot.

The Swiss had a good tournament with a lot of good games but could only come through against the Danes to take the final playoff spot in the group.hockey-sidebar

Denmark was unable to find a win throughout the group stage and took the final spot bringing them to the relegation for another year.

The finish will see Switzerland take on the Swedes while the Czechs take on the Americans for their chance at the medal round.

Meanwhile, Denmark and Kazakhstan will be playing the relegation series to remain in the top tier of the tournament.

The playoffs are almost here and although teams have shown plenty this year nobody really knows what will happen.

The defending champions seem to have the most talent but have never really put it altogether and they saw the result when they play a team with almost as much skill.

Russia has always been a talented team that has a tendency to fall apart in the biggest games.

The Swedes look like the best team altogether as they haven’t received a major scare this year and took care of a tougher group.

Finland doesn’t seem like they are the same powerhouse anymore while the Americans are hot and cold.

There could always be an upset as Slovakia and Switzerland make a habit of launching one upset a year while the Czechs have the best team they have had in years.

The playoffs could provide plenty of interesting moments as the run towards the medals begins.

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