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World Junior Hockey 2013: U.S.-Czech, Russia-Swiss in Quarterfinals [games thread]

The 2013 World Junior Championship resumes Wednesday with two "quarterfinal" matchups: The U.S. vs. the Czech Republic, and Russia vs. Switzerland.

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Czech high-five, yes?
Czech high-five, yes?
Richard Wolowicz

Today's World Junior Championship matchups aren't exactly "quarterfinals" -- there are only two of them -- but rather knock-out, play-in games to face group winners Canada or Sweden in the semifinal round on Thursday. No rest for those who failed to win their group.

Things start off (or started, depending on when you read this) with the U.S. taking on the Czech Republic at 4 a.m. EST. In North America that is again televised on TSN and the NHL Network in the U.S.

After that comes Switzerland and host Russia at 8 a.m. EST. (In between, Germany and Finland have a relegation round match, but that won't get much attention and should be a cakewalk for Finland. Germany has been outscored 26-4 so far in this tournament, and Olaf Kolzig is not walking through that door.)

Russia really should be able to handle Switzerland, and it would be a horrible disappointment for the hosts if they fell at this stage against this opponent.

(As an aside, it's been noted that Swiss in past versions of this tournament have injured Islanders blueline prospects Travis Hamonic and Calvin de Haan, and now they've gone after Ville Pokka. Hmmm.)

Anyway, enjoy the games if you catch them live or on replay, and -- spoiler alert -- as always use the comments here as your game thread and general observation platform.

The Velvet Divorce

Bonus Trivia: Once upon a time Czechs and Slovaks were forced to live together as part of a buffer state between the Great Powers. Many decades later, their country split, peacefully, in the middle of the WJC tournament. Teammates who entered the tourney as countrymen ended it as divorced neighbors. This is their story.