World Juniors 2016: Canada 2-4 USA

World Juniors

The first day of the World Juniors ice hockey championships in Finland 2016 featured one of the most interesting games: The North American derby between team Canada and team USA. In order to avoid teams like Finland and Russia it is important for the teams in group A (Sweden, USA, Canada, Switzerland, Denmark) to avoid being placed to far down in the table.

High paced north – south Ice Hockey

Both Canada and USA started in a high pace. The first period featured very few game breaks and the teams traded chances with each other, going north south for twenty minutes of hockey. The feeling was that USA was the team with more puck possession while Canada was taking advantage of fast counterattacks. In the end of the period, USA’s Alex DeBrincat got called for a spearing, getting a five-minute major penalty. However, Canada failed to convert on the power play in both the first and second period. Instead, they scored 1-0 on the counterattack five minutes into the second period. After Canada’s goal, USA put on more pressure through the line with Matthew Tkachuk (son of Keith Tkachuk) and Auston Matthews. Team Canada defended themselves efficient though. The pressure soon shifted and team Canada established their offense in USA’s zone. However, it was team USA that got the second goal of the night when Colin White took advantage of a bounce behind Mason McDonald in Canada’s goal. 1-1 at the end of second.

In the third period, Canada got a penalty for goaltender interference. On the power play, team USA’s team captain Zach Werenski scored 2-1. However, a while later, he caused a penalty through a slashing and had to sit and watch while Dylan Strome scored 2-2. With minutes to go of the game, many thought that this show would be sent into overtime. USA got two quick, decisive goals in the end of the period though. Both 3-2 and 4-2 came from loose pucks put on net, bouncing of defenders before finding their way behind an unlucky McDonald. Tough for the goalie who is seen as number two behind Mackenzie Blackwood who is suspended for two games in the World Juniors because of a slashing incident in the OHL (Ontario Hockey League).

Other results, day one:

The home nation Finland easily won a comfortable 6-0 victory against Belarus.

Sweden also got an easy win, 8-3 against Switzerland, but at a heavy cost: Forward William Nylander, son of Michael Nylander and currently playing in the Toronto Marlies in the AHL, got injured after a nasty checking to the head. The Swiss played a reckless hockey with lots of high sticks and ugly hits.

Russia defeated Czech Republic after a shootout. The game ended 1-1 after full-time and Maxim Lazarev scored the game winning goal for Russia.

Svenska truppen till junior-VM i ishockey 2015-16 klar

Snart inleds junior-VM i ishockey som vanligt under mellandagarna. I år avgörs turneringen i Finland och tidigare presenterade vi spelschemat. Sveriges trupp är uttagen av förbundskapten Rikard Grönborg och det finns en hel del intressanta namn att kika på, bland annat bröderna William och Alexander Nylander och Adrian Kempe. Truppen utgörs av en blandning av elitseriespelare och AHL/collegespelare från Nordamerika. Bra, med tanke på att turneringen avgörs på stor is men att mycket av det kvalificerade motståndet kommer i form av Kanada och USA.

Svenska truppen till junior-VM i ishockey 2015-16:

Målvakter:

Felix Sandström (Brynäs)
Linus Söderström (Djurgården)
Erik Källgren (Linköping)

Backar:

Sebastian Aho (Skellefteå)
William Lagesson (UMass)
Jacob Larsson (Frölunda)
Adam Ollas Mattsson (Djurgården)
Andreas Englund (Djurgården)
Marcus Pettersson (Skellefteå)
Gustav Forsling (Linköping)
Gabriel Carlsson (Linköping)

Forwards:

Lukas Vejdemo (Djurgården)
Jakob Forsbacka-Karlsson (Boston University)
Fredrik Olofsson (Universoty of Nebraska-Omaha)
Carl Grundström (Modo)
Dymytro Timashov (Quebaec Remparts)
Rasmus Asplund (Färjestad)
Alexander Nylander (Mississauga Steelheads)
Joel Eriksson Ek (Färjestad)
William Nylander (Toronto Marlies)
Oskar Lindblom (Brynäs)
Jens Lööke (Brynäs)
Axel Holmström (Skellefteå)
Christoffer Ehn (Frölunda)
Anton Karlsson (Frölunda)
Adrian Kempe (Ontario Reign)

Yngsta spelaren är Alexander Nylander, lillebror till William Nylander. Han är 17 år. Som bekant är pappan Michael Nylander som representerat en rad klubbar under sin karriär. Vi minns honom framförallt som trogen Tre Kronor. Han ställde alltid upp, även i VM 2006 när han inte blev uttagen till OS-laget. Då var han med och vann sitt andra guld med Tre Kronor. Det första kom 1992. Han har även 3 brons och 2 silver med landslaget. 2005 blev han finsk mästare med Kärpät. Michael Nylanders främsta styrka var hans teknik och fick han bara utrymmet kunde han snurra på ordentligt i offensiv zon. Förhoppningsvis får vi se några liknande tricks från hans söner under junior-VM!

Schedule, 2016 IIHF World Junior Championship

World Juniors

In last year’s IIHF World Juniors we got to see Team Canada win the gold after defeating Russia in the final. Slovakia won bronze after defeating Sweden. The 2015-16 edition of the tournament is held in Finland December 6 2015-January 5 2016.

Ten teams are divided into two groups:

Group A

Canada
Sweden
USA
Denmark
Switzerland

Comment: A tough group with many tricky teams. It is hard to predict how the North American teams will perform on the big ice. Sweden is always a top rated team. Danish hockey have taken big steps upwards last couple of years. Switzerland is always a tricky opponent. As Swedes, we are of course looking forward to the game against Canada on New Year’s Eve!

Group B

Russia
Slovakia
Czech Republic
Finland
Belarus

Comment: Finland versus Russia is always a blast, as well as Czech Republic versus Slovakia. In fact, every team in this group have some sort of rivalry with Russia. The Russians might start tournaments a bit sloppy, but against these opponents that is not a great tactic. In fact, all teams of group B have the chance to reach the quarterfinals.

The quarterfinals are played January 2.
The semifinals are played January 4.
The final and bronze game are played January 5.

What team will win the 2016 IIHF World Junior Championship?

Many factors make the World Juniors hard to predict. What talents are actual in the teams this year? How will the geographic location of the tournament affect the teams. Finland has the home advantage but that can also be too much for the Finnish nerves. Sweden is always a candidate for a medal. Russia almost made a sensational comeback against Canada in the final last year. The North American teams have performed better on big ice last years, not the least Team Canada in the IIHF World Championship 2015.

We put our money on Russia this year. They won the gold in 2011 after a remarkable final game against Canada and if they can keep their temper they will go far this year as well.

2016 is the last year for a while that the IIHF World Junior Championship will be held in Europe. 2017 and 2019 the tournament is held in Canada and 2018 in USA. In 2020 it is back in Europe again (Czech Republic), and then it goes back to Canada in 2021.

Canada is leading the gold race with 16 gold medals, followed by Russia/Soviet Union with 13 golds. Finland and USA have 3 golds each and Sweden and Czech Republic/Czechoslovakia 2.

Så spelas junior-VM i ishockey 2015/16

World Juniors

Förra året fick vi se Kanada lyfta bucklan i junior-VM i ishockey efter att ha besegrat Ryssland i finalen. Sverige kom fyra efter att ha förlorat bronsmatchen mot Slovakien. Vi hoppas på svensk medalj i årets upplaga av turneringen som går av stapeln i Finland 26 december 2015-5 januari 2016. Du hittar spelschemat nedan. Till höger hittar du vinnarodds från Comeon.com.

Tio lag deltar i turneringen och de är indelade i två grupper:

Grupp A:

Kanada
Sverige
USA
Danmark
Schweiz

Grupp B:

Ryssland
Slovakien
Tjeckien
Finland
Vitryssland

En tuff uppgift för Sverige redan i gruppspelet alltså, med två transatlantiska lag, grannrivalerna, och luriga Schweiz. Mot USA och Kanada bör vi ha en fördel av att turneringen spelas i Finland och därmed på stor rink. I grupp B ser vi särskilt fram emot prestigemötet mellan Finland och Ryssland.

Sveriges matcher:

26 december: Scwheiz-Sverige
28 december: Sverige-USA
30 december: Sverige-Danmark
31 december: Kanada-Sverige

Det blir en riktig smällkaramell på nyårsafton när småkronorna drabbar samman med mästarna.

Slutspelet:

2 januari: kvartsfinaler
4 januari: semifinaler
5 januari: final och bronsmatch

Vem vinner junior-VM 2015/16?

Det är många faktorer som spelar in i junior-VM, såsom vilka talanger just årets kull har fått fram och huruvida de får ok att spela för sina klubblag. Vi väljer dock att sätta lite fokus på att turneringen spelas på stor rink i Finland vilket ger en fördel till Europeiska lag och Ryssland. Finland har hemmafördel, men det kan även vara en nackdel för de finska nerverna. Sverige borde ha en god chans till medalj i år. Ryssland var nära att komma ikapp Kanada i förra årets final men räckte inte ända vägen fram. Samtidigt har faktiskt Nordamerikanska lag blivit bättre på stor is på senare år, vilket var särskilt tydligt när Kanada vann guld i senior-VM 2015 i Tjeckien i våras.

Vi väljer att satsa en slant på Ryssland i år. Senast de vann, 2011, gjorde de en makalös finalmatch och kan de bara hålla temperamentet i schack kan de gå långt i år.

2016 är sista gången på några år som JVM hålls i Europa. 2017 och 2019 hålls turneringen i Kanada och 2018 i USA. Först 2020 är den tillbaka i Europa (Tjeckien) för att sedan gå tillbaka till Kanada 2021.

Guldligan leder Kanada med 16 guld, följt av Ryssland/Sovjetunionen med 13. Sverige ligger först på femte plats med två guldmedaljer. Tar vi den ädlaste medaljen i år hoppar vi upp på delad 3:e plats med Finland och USA.

Mer info:

http://www.worldjunior2016.com/

Results, medal games of the IIHF World Junior Championships

Yesterday the bronze game and the final of the IIHF World Junior Championships 2015 were played and here are the results:

Sweden 2 – 4 Slovakia

Slovakia took the command in the first period, scoring two quick goals. The Swedes fought their way back in the game making it an even game of 2-2 before the second period which was scoreless. However, in the last second Sweden took a stupid penalty which meant they got to start the third period with a 5 minute boxplay. Slovakia took advantage of their power play and could hold this lead throughout the period, scoring the last goal in open net, making it 4-2 and winning the bronze. A big success for Slovakian ice-hockey – their only medal in the Juniors earlier was a bronze from 1999.

Canada 5 – 4 Russia

Canada started the game in a frenzy, scoring two early goals which led to Russia changing goalkeeper. The Russians came back and managed to score a goal before the first period was over. We got to see some hard-hitting fast-paced hockey between two good teams. In the second period Canada scored three fast goals, making the total score 5-1 to the home team. Russia’s goalkeeper didn’t came up to standard and the game seemed to slip away for them. That what was we thought anyways. In 4 minutes they scored three goals, two in power play, and suddenly a drama was unfolding. With one remaining period the score was 5-4 in favor of Canada. The Canadians began to look nervous and shaky. In the third period the home nation did a good job defending their one-goal-lead and managed to fend off the russian attacks. The gold this year thus went to Canada while Russians got the silver.

Summary of the tournament

We’ve seen some great hockey in Montreal and Toronto this Christmas. Some nations have rised and showed the world that they can play hockey with the big guys. Slovakia won their first medal since 1999. Denmark made it to the playoffs. Other nations didn’t quite delivered as expected. Last year champions Finland lost against Sweden in the quarterfinal. Sweden who was in the final last year got a fourth place this year. Switzerland didn’t make it to the playoffs. USA lost their quarterfinal. One thing is for certain: The two best teams made it to the final and put on a great show. The medalists of the IIHF World Junior Championships 2015 felt like worthy winners even if it of course will take a while for Russia to deal with the final loss against Team Canada.

IIHF World Junior Championships 2016

Next Christmas the Junior Championships will be held in Helsinki, Finland. That means big ice hockey wich of course is an advantage for the European teams. Sweden will have twelve players from this tournament one year older. Canada will travel to Europe to show that they can win abroad, defending their gold. Russia want revenge. Finland will have the pressure and support of the home crowd. It will be a blast!

Results, semifinals of the IIHF World Junior Championships

Yesterday the semifinals of the IIHF World Junior Championships were played and here are the results:

Sweden 1 – 4 Russia

Sweden beat Russia with 3-2 in the group stage and got the top spot in group B. In the playoffs Russia came out as the stronger team and got a 2-0 lead in the second period after a goalless first period. Early in the third period they were up with 3-0 while Sweden managed to reduce the lead to 3-1 with 9 minutes to go. The minute later however, a hypereffective and hungry Russia managed to score again and wrote the end result to 4-1.

Canada 5 – 1 Slovakia

The home team Canada made no mistake in the semifinal against Slovakia. Nicolas Petan scored a hat-trick with one goal in each period, two of them in power play. After the first period the score was 1-0 to team Canada and 3-1 after the second, Slovakia reducing the lead with 3 seconds to go of the middle period, keeping the game alive. Team Canada didn’t keep the pressure of Slovakian goalkeeper Godla, firing a total of 44 shots compared to Slovakia’s 15.

Battle for the medals

In the bronze game tonight Slovakia will face Sweden. Russia and Canada will battle for the gold. Last time they met in a final was in 2011 when Russia won the gold medal. In the last two tournaments Canada haven’t got a medal. Now they are guaranteed to get one, we will only have to wait and see what valor it will be.

Results, quarterfinals of the IIHF World Junior Championships

Yesterday the quarterfinals of the IIHF World Junior Championships were played and here are the results:

Russia 3 – 2 USA

Russia came out strong in this game and were up by two goals to none after the first period. USA looked tired and took many stupid penalties. Perhaps they were still sore after the beating they got by Canada the other day, we expected much more from team USA this tournament. The game ended 3-2 to Russia who will now face Sweden in the semifinal.

Sweden 6 – 3 Finland

Sweden were favourites in this game after winning their group. Finland hasn’t impressed anyone in the group stage. Yet it was Finland who took the lead in the second period. While the first period was goalless we got to see six goals in the second. After a couple of penalties Sweden got a 5-against-3 Powerplay and made no mistake. They’ve had a great Powerplay during the tournament and today special teams would be the difference between the teams. Two quick goals and then another in 5vs5 meant a 3-1 lead for the swedes. However, after mistakes from swedish players Finland could score both 3-2 and 3-3. At the end of the period two more finnish players got penalties. Sweden got to start the third period with another 2-man advantage and could take the lead with 4-3. After that Finland failed to convert at a 4 minute Powerplay and Sweden could instead, shortly after, make it 5-3. The last goal came in open net, which meant 6-3 for Sweden who now will face Russia in the semifinal this Sunday.

Czech Republic 0 – 3 Slovakia

Goliath versus David, and David won, much thanks to Slovakian goaltender Denis Godla. It was a fast paced hockey game with two teams trading chances. Slovakia was the more effective team though and managed to win with 3-0.

Canada 8 – 0 Denmark

Denmark’s journey through the tournament has been interesting to follow and it’s a great success for Danish hockey making it to the playoffs. However, team Canada was a size or two to big for the Danish team who lost with 8 goals. It will be fun to follow team Denmark in the future, both in the junior and senior hockey series. Canada will meet Slovakia in the semifinal.

Results, seventh day of the IIHF World Junior Championships

The last round of the group stage in the IIHF World Junior Championships was played at New Years Eve and here are the results:

Canada 5-3 USA
Germany 0-2 Finland
Switzerland 1-5 Sweden
Russia 1-4 Czech Republic

Analysis of the seventh day:

We enjoyed some great action between Canada and USA yesterday. Fast phased-hard-hitting hockey where Canada managed to wear down their opponents. USA came back in the end but overall Canada was the better team and they are huge favourites for winning the gold medal.

Meanwhile in group A Finland beat Germany with 2-0 and thus grabbed the fourth and last playoff spot.

In group B Sweden made short work out of the swiss with a comfortable 5-1 win. Sweden was already groupwinners while Switzerland’s tournament now is over. Czech Republic finally woke up and beat Russia with 4-1, securing the second place in group B. Russia finished in third place and sensationally, Denmark grabbed the last spot in the playoffs.

Quarterfinals:

The quarterfinals are played January 2nd:

USA vs Russia
Sweden vs Finland
Czech Republic vs Slovakia
Canada vs Denmark

Except for Canada facing Denmark we have some classic rivalries to look forward to: USA and Russia is always fun to watch, even though the Cold War is over. Sweden against Finland is a nordic rivalry while Czechoslovakia now has turned in two countries fighting for glory and prestige – hockey at it’s best!

Our bet is on the following teams reaching the semifinals: USA, Sweden, Czech Republic, Canada.

Results, fifth day of the IIHF World Junior Championships

Two games were played in the IIHF World Junior Championships yesterday and here are the results:

Slovakia 5-2 Germany
Switzerland 3-4 Denmark (after shootouts)

Analysis of the fifth day

This is interesting for the development in both groups. In group A Finland and Germany will play for the last playoff spot where Sweden awaits after winning group B. In group B both Denmark and Switzerland have 4 points in 3rd and 4th place while Czech Republic is lagging behind, having only 1 point. The race for the last playoff spots are still open.

Day six:

Canada vs United States
Germany vs Finland
Switzerland vs Sweden
Russia vs Czech Republic

We’re looking forward to the rival meeting between the both north-atlantic teams, it will be a blast! Finland should beat Germany for the last playoff spot, if they can manage their nerves. Switzerland has everything to win against Sweden who is already the winner of group B. Russia wants to stay in second place in the group, to avoid USA or Canada in the quarterfinal. Czech Republic have to fight for their existence in the tournament. Many tight and uncertain games.

Results, fourth day of the IIHF World Junior Championships

Four games were played in the 2015 IIHF World Junior Championships yesterday and these are the results:

United States 3-0 Slovakia
Finland 1-4 Canada
Czech Republic 3-2 Denmark (overtime)
Sweden 3-2 Russia

Analysis of the fourth day:

While United States and Canada is steamrolling their opponents in group A, group B is tighter. We’re looking forward to the groupfinal between the both north-atlantic teams at new years eve.

Sweden managed to beat Russia after a dramatic third period. The swedes took the lead after the first period while Russia came back in the second period, scoring the equalizer. In the beginning of the third Russia’s Lechenko scored his second goal of the game which also Sweden’s Forsling did three minutes later. With 13 minutes left of the final period the game was a tie. Now a major-drama was unfolded with Russia almost getting the game-leading goal which led to the puck dancing on the goal-line before Swedish goalkeeper Söderström managed to cover it. The situation had to be reviewed by the goal-judge and it probably wasn’t an easy task since the puck almost crossed the goal-line twice. However, the result was a wash-out from the referee: no goal. Instead Sweden could score 3-2 a minute later. Hockey logic! The swedes managed to hold out the remainder of the period and is now heading towards the group win. That means they probably will meet Finland in the quarterfinal, a classic nordic rivalry!

Denmark has the chance to reach the quarterfinal at the expense of Czech Republic or Switzerland.

Day five:

Slovakia vs Germany
Switzerland vs Denmark

Slovakia should beat Germany while both Switzerland and Denmark have something to fight for in their game. It’s an interesting match-up since both teams rely on counterattacks, which works against “better” teams but seldom on teams that have less puck-possession.