Today is one of the most exciting days of the very exciting World Juniors tournament, as eight teams will compete in four quarterfinals for an opportunity to advance to the semifinals and play for medals.
Here is the schedule for today’s games. All times listed are the local Eastern Standard Time.
Denmark vs. Russia, 1pm, Air Canada Centre, NHL Network/TSN
It’s a bit of a surprise to see Denmark here in the quarterfinals. Even more shocking is that they’re the home team in this game because they finished second in their group, while Russia finished third in their group. It’s tough to see Denmark continuing their Cinderella run any farther though. Russia is an older team, with a tremendous top line, and they always seem to come up with their best hockey in the biggest moments.
Slovakia vs. Sweden, 2:30pm, Bell Centre, TSN 1/4
This one should be pretty straightforward. Sweden won all four games in group play and had the best goal margin, edging out the US by a single goal. Slovakia looked hopelessly outclassed against the US, Canada, and Russia and barely beat Latvia to avoid the relegation round. Slovakia has had good goaltending in this tournament, but it will take something magical to pull off the upset.
United States vs. Switzerland, 5:30pm, Air Canada Centre, NHL Network/TSN 3/5
The United States cruised through the preliminary round with a perfect record, but now the stakes are raised with single elimination hockey. The Swiss could potentially be tricky, but are about as favorable of a match-up as a team can hope for in the quarterfinals.
Canada vs. Czech Republic, 8:00pm, Bell Centre, NHL Network/TSN
The tournament hosts get the prime time slot as they begin their run to gold. The Canadians were humbled a bit after being beaten up by the United States in their last prelim game. The Czechs are a very tough team, but ultimately, I think Canada’s depth and the hometown crowd combines to wear down the Czech Republic.