WJC: Start of the quarter-finals


The 2022 IIHF World Junior Championship (WJC) continues with the quarter-finals on Wednesday. The semifinals are on Friday, with the gold medal and bronze medal games on Saturday.

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PREVIEW OF QUARTER-FINAL MATCHES

All games are broadcast on RDS and TSN in Canada and on NHL Network in the United States.

Finland vs Germany (12 p.m. ET) – Finland’s top line features two of the tournament’s top three scorers: forwards Joakim Kemell (Nashville Predators) and Aatu Raty (New York Islanders). Both have nine points (three goals, six assists). « It’s a good line, » Finland coach Antti Pennanen said. « Aatu is very smart and he can make plays, while Kemell has a great shot, as we all know. Roni Hirvonen (Toronto Maple Leafs) is so mature and responsible. So they form a good unit. […] It’s fun to watch them play. Germany may not be so pleased to see the three compatriots in action. The country lost 2-1 against Russia in the quarter-finals of the WJC 2021. The Germans will absolutely have to remain disciplined. They cleared eight of 12 penalties (66.7 percent) in the preliminary round, while Finland leads the tournament with nine power-play goals.

Sweden vs Latvia (3:30 p.m. ET) – Latvia are still enjoying their first victory at the World Juniors, a 5-2 win over the Czech Republic on Sunday that secured them third place in Group A. The Latvians are led by goalkeeper Bruno Bruveris, who has a save percentage .913 in three games, even though he faced an average of 38.3 shots per game. Sweden, who are among the favorite countries to win the tournament, will not take Latvia lightly. « They have momentum and they are not afraid of anything, » warned Swedish coach Tomas Monten. “They skated for 60 minutes. We have to slow them down and cut their energy, and not get caught up in an emotional match. Detroit Red Wings defenseman Simon Edvinsson, who leads Sweden with an average of 22:27 ice time per game, did not face Germany on Monday. Another defender took the opportunity to stand out: Emil Andrae (Philadelphia Flyers). He had seven points (three goals, four assists), the highest among all defensemen in the tournament. Fabian Lysell (Boston Bruins) stands out with a balanced offense with four points (one goal, three assists) in four games.

Canada vs. Switzerland (7 p.m. ET) – Canada forward Mason McTavish (Anaheim Ducks) leads the tournament in scoring with 13 points (seven goals, six assists) in four games. His line, completed by Brennan Othmann (New York Rangers) and Connor Bedard, has developed great chemistry with a combined total of nine points (five goals, four assists) in the two most recent meetings. But all of Canada’s squad is helping out, including center Ridly Greig (Ottawa Senators). He had six points (three goals, three assists), in addition to winning important faceoffs, stopping shots and passing penalties. “We asked the players to use their skills for the benefit of the team, and that’s what he did,” coach Dave Cameron said. « He plays in all situations – on the power play and shorthanded – and he blocks shots when we are two players short on the ice. He is fully committed. You have to give him credit, and that’s why he’s going to have a long career in the National Hockey League. Switzerland needed a 3-2 win over Austria to advance to the quarter-finals on Monday. Attilio Biasca, who scored the game-winning goal, is tied for first among the Swiss with four points (two goals, two assists).

USA vs Czechia (10:30 p.m. ET) – The defending champions won their four round robin games by a combined score of 22-4. Goaltender Kaidan Mbereko allowed four goals on 65 shots (.938 save percentage) in three games. The Americans rely on a quick forecheck and solid play in the neutral zone to dominate in puck possession. Six players have scored more than two goals, including Carter Mazur (Red Wings) and Matt Coronato (Calgary Flames), who have four each. Thomas Bordeleau (San Jose Sharks) leads the United States with seven points (one goal, six assists) and has won 60.7 percent of his 89 faceoffs, making him the player tournament’s busiest in circles. The Czech Republic are struggling, having lost their last three round robin games, including a 5-2 loss to Latvia on Sunday. Jan Mysak (Montreal Canadiens) leads the Czechs with five points (three goals, two assists), but someone else will have to back him up offensively. The only other player with more than one goal is Martin Rysavy (Columbus Blue Jackets), who has two.

*With contributions from NHL.com journalist Guillaume Lepage and NHL.com freelance correspondent Derek Van Diest.



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