GAME DAY: World Juniors Semi-Finals Preview

Published January 4, 2023 at 2:15 PM
BY KEVIN GARCIA
     
We are down to the final four teams for this year's World Junior Ice Hockey Championships.

The first game is set to get going at 1:30pm CT between Sweden and Czechia.

Sweden is led by a strong defensive group. They are not lighting up the scoreboard, but goaltender, Carl Lindbom, has been the best at the event. He is sporting a 1.79 GAA with a whopping .942% save percentage.

Czechia is also a well rounded defensive team, but they have more offensive talent than Sweden. Their top nine scorers all have between 5 and 8 points in the tournament, while Sweden has just three players in that range. They, too, have a solid goalie, though, with Tomas Suchanek and his .935% save percentage in net.


I expect Czechia to come away with the win in a low scoring affair. Both teams are solid on the defensive end, but Czechia has the advantage in the O-Zone.

The second game of the day is between Canada and USA, with the puck drop set for 5:00pm CT.

Canada is led by future NHL star and projected #1 overall pick, Connor Bedard. Just how good is Bedard? Well, he has 21 points, which leads the tournament, and the 2nd most points is 11. It is not just Bedard, though, as Canada has a lot of other talent that is headlined by Shane Wright. They can score at a high rate, but they can also defend pretty well, with Thomas Milic's .921% save percentage in net.

The US is going to have their hands full tonight, but they can most certainly match up with Canada's well rounded team. They have two players in double digits for points and have four of the top eight scorers in the tournament. They are led by Logan Cooley, Jimmy Snuggerud, and Cutter Gauthier. In net they have a very reliable goalie in Trey Augustine. In four games player, Augustine has a stellar 1.36 GAA and .938% save percentage on 81 shots against.

I thought Canada was the favorite to win it all before the tournament, and unfortunately, I still feel that way. I see this won being a solid matchup with a decent amount of scoring, but I do think Canada will come away with the win and head to the Gold Medal Game.
POLL
January 4   |   68 answers
GAME DAY: World Juniors Semi-Finals Preview

Who will win between Canada and USA?

Canada4769.1 %
USA2130.9 %
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