2019 World Juniors Report (Semifinals)

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The playoff bracket was an interesting one after quarterfinal day with one side looking more normal and the other completely strange.

On one side were two power teams that everyone thought would be here when things began.

Russia and the USA were going to be two teams to watch when the tournament started as both have a long history of being great in the Juniors.

The Russians were one of the few teams with a history as good as the Canadians with more medals than the Canadians, although less gold.

They came into this tournament as they come into every Junior tournament, as one of the few teams where not getting a medal is a shock.

The Russians were taking on a team with a more recent success story as the Americans are not the power the Canadians or Russians are.

Still, they are a program on the rise over the last decade and they have been getting better and more consistent every year.

They have a lot of work to do to catch up to the big two teams with only 11 total medals and four golds but in the last three years the Americans have taken medals and are beginning to catch up.

At the start of the tournament, they were one of the favourites as they brought in a team full of NHL talent.

They were ready to take another gold medal but they were going to have to go through a tough Russian team to get there.

It was a matchup that could have easily been for the gold medal but instead, it was for a chance to play for that medal.

The loser was going to have the challenge of getting up for a bronze medal game, a medal that neither team wanted.

The Americans took an early lead and never looked back as the Russians just couldn’t get back into the game.

The Russians took the loss and will once again face disappointment with 2011 being the last year that they took home a gold medal.

For a team like Russia, and Canada, the only goal is gold and falling short even if falling short means a medal is a failure.

The Russians will try to come away with a medal playing in the bronze game while the Americans play for the gold.

It was somewhat expected as the USA looks for their second gold in three years with an interesting opponent to face.

The other side of the bracket was never supposed to look this way especially after the way the group stage came out.

Finland and Switzerland were not the best teams in the group stage as the Finns struggled throughout the first round.

They were going to be a great team but couldn’t meet those expectations leading many to believe that they didn’t have it this year.

That only became truer when the Finns were pitted against the Canadians in their quarterfinal matchup.hockey-sidebar

Then there is Switzerland who wasn’t expected to do anything as they are not among the power teams.

They made the playoffs by beating Denmark as their only win in the group stage and taking on Sweden was going to be too much for them.

Both Finland and Switzerland were able to surprise everyone in the quarterfinals beating two of the best teams in the tournament.

Sweden and Canada were forced to end their tournaments without a medal that was expected while Finland and Switzerland looked for their chance at the gold medal game.

On paper, it was a mismatch as Finland had the talent that Switzerland didn’t but the Swiss had a tendency to launch upsets.

They seemed to have only one upset int hem though as the Finns were on the Swiss from the start.

The Finns piled up the goals and easily got past the Swiss giving them a shot at another gold medal.

The Swiss will look to launch one more upset against the Russians to claim their first medal in the history of the World Juniors.

The Finns try to find their way back to the top after years of ups and downs as they take on the Americans.

The USA beat the Finns in the group stage earlier and now Finland will look for some revenge as they try to win their first gold since 2016.

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