The United States moved to the top of Group B at the 2017 World Junior Hockey championship with its three-goal (5-2) margin of victory over Slovakia Wednesday night, but that position is unlikely to remain after a full slate of games on Thursday’s schedule.
Group B: USA-RUS, CAN-LAT
At 3:30 p.m. EST in Toronto, the U.S. takes on Russia in a battle that could very well decide who grabs second place, while Canada will face Latvia — and surely run up its goal differential — in the 8 p.m. game in Toronto.
Those games set up the near-annual U.S.-Canada clash on New Year’s Eve to close out group play. For the U.S. program, today is a chance to break a five-game losing streak against Russia at the WJC and show its learned from past mistakes.
Group A: DEN-CZE, SWE-FIN
In today’s Group A games, Denmark — still with a chance at advancing after a shock win over Finland — faces the Czech Republic in Montreal at 1 p.m. The Czechs sit in second place on four points and could move into first place with a win, depending on how the other game goes.
That other game is at 5:30 in Montreal, when Group A leader Sweden takes on 0-2 Finland in a traditional rivalry with high stakes for both. Finland needs to win to cling on to a chance to advance; Sweden, meanwhile, could all but seal their position atop the group and humiliate their rivals with a regulation win.
Check Habs Eyes on the Prize for previews and lineups of the Canada game as well as for the other three contests.
In Canada, the TSN networks have tournament coverage, while in the United States NHL Network will air all four of today’s games.