The 2017-2018 games were quite heated up and my guess is that this year, the World Juniors championship games will be even much more heated up.
Qualifying to be in the top division alone takes quite a lot of effort and as much as the 10 participating teams may be there already, it takes even more sweat, blood and tears for them to not only remain in the top division but also get to win either of the 3 competitive titles, the bronze, the gold, and the silver cup.
Gong for the gold title amongst the big leagues takes a lot of preparation, planning, patience and of course hard work. With the teams that are playing this year, it truly can be quite difficult to know which team will walk home with the gold.
Both the group A and Group B matches are meant to create a progressive build up to the quarterfinals, the semi-finals and eventually the finals and the reason as to why we’re here today is to carefully assess all the different teams and find out which team will turn out to be the best.
Let’s delve into it then, shall we?
Canada is one of the 5 teams in the top division category and one of the best as well. the reason for this is that it boasts to have the most gold medal wins over the years and inclusive of this is the medal win they had in the 2017-2018 games.
Their total winnings for the gold medal is 17 which gives them the advantage of experience since with each coming year, they tend to be much better than they were in the previous year.
The rule of thumb when it comes to sports is that the winner is determined by how good the teamwork is and I’ve got to say, this year’s team is quite strong.
Canada’s line up has got 3 playersthat were drafted to make a jump in the NHL and the best-case scenario is that with all three of these playing in the games, Canada will have better odds of winning. On the other hand, if most of the players migrate to the NHL, Canada would have to work with the 19-year old’s who are already dominating the team.
Besides Canada, yet another country that has so much love for ice hockey in Sweden and I’ve got to say, they’re quite a worthy opponent for Canada.
Though they may not have that many gold medals, they’ll put up quite a fight before they give in to Canada. In the 2017-2019 finals, they went face to face with the Canadian team and even though they lost, they did have the silver medal.
Sweden is in the group B team and here, there are yet other worthy competitors such as Slovakia and of course the united states. Either of these two teams could prevent team Sweden from reaching the 2019 scheduled games that include the quarters, the semis and the finals.
The Canada-Russia rivalry
One of the strongest teams in the World Juniors hockey championships is Russia. Now if you’ve done some tracing back on the history of either team, then you probably know of the rivalry that is between Russia and Canada.
Like most rivalries in sports, this one too traces back to decades ago in the year 1987 which was a match between Canada and the Soviet Union. Ever since then, each time these two teams meet is a match more intense than the last.
Unlike a Canada vs. Sweden match where Sweden holds to be a worthy and friendly competitor, Russia is always Canada’s rival whatsoever. As if this is not enough, both teams are in group A which means that they have and will always meet in future before the semifinals, the quarterfinals or the finals.
For this year’s game, there will be the Canada vs. Russia match closing off the year at the 31st of December in the Rodgers arena.
With the possibility of Canada having lots of 19-year-olds, Russia does stand a huge chance in putting up a fair fight against Canada come the 31st of December but let’s not forget the fact that Canada is the team with the highest number of golds yet so far and that it will take some years and obviously a fight for other teams to catch up.
Besides being in a separate group as Canada and Russia, Team USA is not to be underestimated whatsoever. After the scheduled matches, USA poses yet another threat to Canada besides Russia and each time these two teams qualified past the scheduled matches, Canada had to pass through USA before they could face Russia. So yes, they do pose a threat to the current champions.
Finland vs the united states
One of the scheduled matches to close off the year for the Group B teams is the Finland vs USA match. They do have an equal number of gold medal wins and in the last years game, it was a narrow win for USA of 5-4 against Finland.
This obviously leaves room for question and uncertainty as to which team will possibly beat the other come the a31st of December when they are scheduled to face each other in the Save-on-foods Memorial.
Slovakia vs the USA
As much as the USA has got the advantage of more wins for all the 17 times they have come head to head with Slovakia, last year’s Slovakia win of 3-2 leaves us with two possibilities for this coming year.
It’s either the USA team bounces back and have yet another win against Slovakia or Slovakia puts up a fair fight against their rivals to defend their position and the winning team proceed to the next phase and eventually to the finals.
The final word.
This year comes with a lot of uncertainty for the semifinals and the finals let alone the scheduled matches from 26th of December to the 5th of January 2019. The above analysis is for the possible wins that will build up to the bronze, the silver, and the gold medals and I’m pretty sure from all this, you’ve got a clue on how intense the 2018-2019 world junior championships will be