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.
In Canada, the TSN networks have tournament coverage, while in the United States NHL Network will air all four of today’s games.