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World Juniors 2017: USA vs Slovakia, Sweden vs Switzerland preview, TV

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Take the Slovaks bowling, take them bowling

Canada v Russia - 2017 IIHF World Junior Championship
After tonight, the tougher half of the draw awaits the USA.
Photo by Claus Andersen/Getty Images

There are just two games Wednesday in the 2017 World Junior Hockey Championship in Toronto and Montreal, but of course each has implications for positioning as teams seek to escape the four-game, round-robin preliminary round and make it to the knockout stage.

At 7:30 p.m. EST in Toronto, the United States (1-0) will meet Slovakia (0-1), the team that managed a tournament record-tying six measly shots in its 5-0 loss to Canada yesterday. (That wasn’t their lone embarrassment for the day; Islanders prospect Mathew Barzal also made cannon fodder out of three of them.)

So if the U.S. wins by a three-goal margin or better, they’ll tie Canada on points and hold the temporary goal differential tiebreaker. But much more to come this round — and of course if the U.S. loses, the apocalypse will set in quickly with remaining games against Russia and Canada.

In the early game at 5 p.m. in Montreal, two 1-0 teams in Group A meet: Switzerland and Sweden, though Sweden is ahead on points (3) since Switzerland’s OT win gives them just two standings points.

Both those Group A teams may have more room ahead of them: Traditional power Finland is 0-2 after losing to Denmark despite outshooting the Danes 36-10. #powerofFrans That represented the first victory Denmark has ever achieved at the WJC other than wins over Switzerland.

Lineups

Check this post at fellow SB Nation site Habs Eyes on the Prize for projected lineups, including Isles prospect Kieffer Bellows on the fourth line for Team USA.

How to Watch

TSN has blanket coverage throughout the tournament in Canada. In the United States, NHL Network will carry the U.S.-Slovakia game.