Perhaps the best day of World Junior hockey comes on the last day of 2020.
I am sure a lot of you are all still reeling from last night’s thrilling Russian win over the Swedes, but the hockey gods are giving you no time to rest up. We have a couple of incredible matchups still on tap for the day and BOTH of them feature Oiler prospects! The games also have huge implications on how each group’s standings will finish. Before we get to those, however, let’s take a look at how this morning’s game between the Czechs and Austria turned out.
It has been a tournament to forget if you are the Austrians. They entered the day with a 0-3 record and a dismal -21 goal differential in three games so far. Today’s game against the Czechs was more of the same as they dropped a 7-0 decision and will play Switzerland in a relegation series to decide if they return to the tournament next year. The Czechs were led by Martin Lang who had three points.
The afternoon game will feature Canada going against their toughest opponent yet as they try to secure the top spot with a win against Finland. Dylan Holloway, who has been quiet in the tournament thus far, will line up alongside Dylan Cozens and Connor McMichael on Canada’s top line. On the other side of the ice, Finland is looking to stay perfect as well. The players to watch in this one will be Quinton Byfield for Canada and captain Anton Lundell for the Finns.
The last game of the day is a battle for Group B supremacy between Team Sweden and Team USA. The Swedes are coming off an epic battle against Russia that saw their record-breaking 54-game winning streak come to an end and are looking to redeem themselves with a win tonight. Philip Broberg is expected to be in the lineup after a disappointing showing against the Russians, possibly due to playing through some sort of injury. I wouldn’t be surprised to see his ice-time limited if he struggles early. The high-flying Americans will be led by Trevor Zegras and will look to take their group for the first time since 2017. Keep an eye on Zegras for the States as well as Alexander Holtz for the Swedes.
Hope you are all having a fabulous New Year’s Eve!