World Junior Championship 2019: The 2019 IIHF World Junior Championship are the 43rd Ice Hockey World Junior Championship. It began on December 26, 2018, and will end with the gold medal game being played on January 5, 2019. This marks the 13th time that Canada has hosted the IHWJC. The U.S. National Junior Team will take part in the 2019 International Ice Hockey Federation World Junior Championship Dec. 26, 2018 – Jan. 5, 2019.
World Junior Championship 2019 Live Stream: How To Watch IIHF World Juniors Free Online TV
The result sees Canada exit the tournament without a shot at a medal for the first time in 13 World Junior Championships on Canadian soil.
Canada and Finland have already played each other as part of the 2019 World Junior Hockey Championship. In a pre-tournament tune-up game on December 23, Finland went on to win by a 5-2 score.
While they did hit that number of goals two times in the round robin, in games against gold-medal contenders Sweden and USA the offence was non-existent. Finland had just two goals total versus the eventual top seeds of Group B.
They were heavy favourites for a medal before the tournament began, but those results, along with surprisingly poor offensive showings from top players Eeli Tolvanen and Rasmus Kupari, meant two losses and a third-place finish after the preliminary round. Their best offensive player has just two goals (with sole possession of that title), while half the skaters have either one or zero points on their statlines.
Unless they can find a way to contain the tournament’s highest-scoring team, the Finns will need to see several slumps busted this evening to make it to the semifinal.
Canada will be counting on the multi-line offensive effort they’ve enjoyed throughout — six of the team’s forwards have at least two goals — while hoping the top defensive unit can keep things contained at the back end.
The Finns know that Canada is beatable. Both teams are in this matchup because of losses on New Year’s Eve. Whichever one stops a losing streak from reaching two is staying alive in the tournament tonight.We eat our young each winter at this event, in a hockey-mad country that has turned the world junior hockey championship into an annual “gold medal or bust” affair.
We don’t even alter our expectations between the years where we’ve got the runaway favourite, or lower-pedigree years like this one, where this Canadian roster may not have shoulders broad enough to handle the weight.
Do the math: There have been 42 tournaments and we’ve won 17 of them. That means that, 25 times, our brightest and best 18- and 19-year-olds have returned to their junior and college teams as failures, after having given everything they have in an attempt to keep us Canadians entertained through the Christmas break.
Is it too much?
“I grew up (feeling that way) too,” shrugged Canadian defenceman Ian Mitchell. “Everyone knows, that’s the expectation. Part of being Canadian, I guess.”
So it was that on New Year’s Day, an off-day before this tournament really gets into gear, a bunch of Canadian hockey journalists gathered around teenager after teenager asking them about the pressure.
The pressure of having lost to Russia the night before. The pressure of entering the sudden-death stage of this tournament. The pressure of meeting Finland in a quarterfinal, a team that beat them 5-2 in a tournament tune-up game.
You know, because constantly reminding people of how much pressure they’re under tends to have a calming effect…
“With the tournament being in Canada, there’s added pressure,” admitted goalie Mike DiPietro. “Not only that everyone else puts on us, but pressure put on ourselves, internally, that we want to do well and succeed.”