World Junior Semis Are Set: USA-Russia, Sweden-Finland
There are six traditional powers in international hockey.
This year, the answer should be simple. Play like a team next time. A smart one.
How does a contender let a 5-on-3 situation occur in the late stages of an elimination game?
The host Finns did what they always do: find a way to keep it close and then congeal fundamentally as a team to give themselves a chace. They won't cost themselves a game; if the other side wins, they'll have deserved it.
Canada's litany of mistakes rarely made it deserving, in spite of its abundance of world-class talent.
Actually, the amazing game was Russia v Denmark.
Amidst blowouts that weren't totally unexpected, the feisty newcomers to the IIHF's top level almost stole one. They got within 44 seconds of what would've been a spectacular upset when Nashville Predator draftee Vladislav Kamenev stepped up:
And Russia's captain wasn't done, as he bailed out this quarter-final's heavy favorites, big time:
Thus, the stage is set for two high-octane semi-finals on Mon 4 Jan:
Canada may not think so, but the host Finns couldn't be more pleased with these pairings: a heated traditional rivalry and an international confrontation.