I have made this open FanPost for any and all discussion about the 2010 World Junior Championships. The 2010 WJCs will take place in Saskatchewan, the tournament will begin tomorrow, the playoffs will begin on January 2nd, 2010, and the gold medal game will be on January 5th. Group play will begin tomorrow, with the top 3 teams in each group moving on to the playoff and the bottom two in a shorter relegation playoff.
Here are the groups. In terms of resources, TSN is your best bet for general coverage, though it is understandably biased towards Canada as it is a Canadian network. The official IIHF WJC statistics site is good, even though someone over there thinks storing daily-updated information into PDFs is a smart idea. The New Jersey Devils have four prospects participating in this year's WJCs.
Group A: Canada (Capt. Patrice Cormier, Adam Henrique), United States, Slovakia, Switzerland, Latvia
Group B: Sweden (Mattias Tedenby, Jacob Josefson), Russia, Finland, Czech Republic, Austria
Incidentally, per this translated Expressen article I found through HFBoards, Tedenby and Josefson will likely play on the same line for Sweden as they did in their exhibition games. That should be something to monitor, maybe a sign of the future for the New Jersey Devils? For Canada, Cormier's the captain and Henrique could very well be centering the same line he centers in Windsor: with Taylor Hall and Greg Nemisz on his wings. Those facts alone warrant attention.
This is the FanPost to discuss the games themselves, how certain players are doing, who's looking good for 2010, any links to any news about any of the teams, how the Devils' prospects are doing, and other such comments, thoughts, and concerns. If it's about the 2010 WJCs, it should be here. The standard rules still apply, and let me emphasize that posting or discussing streams is completely forbidden - they will lead to a straight ban. Yes, I'm aware TV options for those of us in the United States are limited. That is not an exception.
That being said, I'll try to update this as the tournament goes on. Enjoy the 2010 WJCs! Best of luck to the United States, Cormier, Henrique, Tedenby, and Josefson.
12/26 Update: First set of games are done: Sweden destroyed the Czech Republic 10-1; Mattias Tedenby scored a goal, took a interference penalty, had 2 shots on net, and finished a +1. Jacob Josefson just had 4 shots on net and finished a +1. Canada demolished Latvia 16-0; Adam Henrique was moved to a different line, but scored a goal, had 2 shots on net, and finished a +1; and captain Patrice Cormier had a fantastic night with 2 goals, 2 assists, 3 shots on net, and a +4. In other action, Russia trounced Austria 6-2, and the United States rallied to hammer Slovakia 7-3. Hopefully tomorrow's games will be more competitive.
12/27 Update: Apparently, Mattias Tedenby was sick and couldn't play today. No matter, Sweden survived an Austrian scare today and came out fine. Austria responded to all of Sweden's first three goals, including two on the power play. Yet, Sweden "woke up" and came out fighting to win 7-3. Jacob Josefson scored the first goal for Sweden and assisted on two others. He finished with 2 shots on net and +2.
In other action, the United States shutout the Swiss 3-0; Slovakia put a hurting on the Latvians with 5 first period goals, the game ended in a 8-3 Slovak win; and Finland rose to the task in the third period to turn a 3-1 deficit into a 4-3 win. Tomorrow: Patrice Cormier, Adam Henrique and Canada takes on Switzerland and Finland faces Russia.
12/28 Update: It was a day of shutouts. Canada shutout Switzerland 6-0, putting up 4 power play goals in today's game; and Russia shutout Finland 2-0 in a game filled with penalties. No points for Devils' prospects today: Patrice Cormier only registered 3 shots and Adam Henrique only put 2 on net.
Tomorrow: Austria takes on the Czech Republic, Lativa plays the United States, Sweden will play Russia which will surely be one to watch, and Canada will play Slovakia. All four Devils prospects should be in action.
12/29 Update: All kinds of decisive wins all over the place today. The United States stomped on Latvia 12-1; the Czech Republic smacked Austria 7-1; Sweden slugged Russia 4-1; and Canada just got done throwing Slovakia over the top rope to the tune of 8-2. So far it's been a three team domination at this point (Canada, Sweden, U.S.).
Today was a quiet day in terms of production for the Devils prospects. Mattias Tedenby and Jacob Josefson did try to get some points: Tedenby had 5 shots on net to lead Sweden, and Josefson had 4. Alas, only Josefson got on the boxscore for a tripping minor late in the game. Adam Henrique only registered 3 shots on net; and Patrice Cormier did get on the board with an assist on Alex Pietrangelo's goal. However, Cormier also took a cross-checking minor that did lead to a Richard Panik's power play goal and Slovakia's first.
Tomorrow, there are only two games: Finland versus Austria, where Austria needs a win in the worst way; and Switzerland versus Latvia, where the Swiss will help put Latvia right into the relegation round. New Year's Eve will be the end of group play and feature two big "rivalry" games: Sweden versus Finland and the U.S. against Canada.
12/31 Update: On 12/30, Finland smacked Austria 10-1; Switzerland beat Latvia 7-5. On 12/31, Sweden swept Group B with a 7-1 beatdown of Finland; Switzerland soundly beat Slovakia 4-1; Russia defeated the Czech Republic 5-2; and in a dramatic, come from behind shootout win, Canada takes Group A over the United States, 5-4.
Adam Henrique only had a shot on net against the U.S., and Patrice Cormier had 4 shots on net. The Swedish Devils prospects made more noise. Mattias Tedenby had a goal and an assist along with 3 shots on net; Jacob Josefson got 2 goals, first off a rebound created by Tedenby and then got credited for the second as his shot deflected off a Finnish defenseman's skate and into the net. Josefson also had 3 shots as well.
Canada and Sweden will get a bye for the Quarterfinals, which begins on 1/2/2010. The first quarterfinal has the United States facing Finland, the winner will play Sweden. The second quarterfinal has Russia playing Switzerland, with the winner facing Canada. The Czech Republic, Austria, Latvia, and Slovakia are in the relegation round, beginning on 1/2 with Slovakia facing Austria. Already, the Czechs and Slovaks have wins in the relegation group from the group stages.
1/2/2010 Update: The Quarterfinals are complete. Nino Niederreiter was the hero of the day for the Swiss junior team. He scored the late equalizer against Russia with the extra skater and the game winning goal in overtime. The win sends Switzerland to face Canada in the first semifinal at 5 PM EST on January 3rd. As for USA-Finland, the game was more, well, decisive. The United States dusted off Finland to the tune of 6-2 and will face Sweden in the second semifinal at 9 PM EST, also on January 3rd. All four Devils prospects will be in action tomorrow in important games. Sweden-USA is going to be a great game, I would think (and hope).
Russia and Finland will fight for fifth place on January 4. The Czech Republic will face Latvia tomorrow.
1/5/2010 ENDING UPDATE:
In the Semifinals, Canada easily beat the Swiss 6-1. Cormier had 1 shot on net and 1 minor penalty; Henrique had nothing on the boxscore. Sweden lost to the United States 5-2. Both Tedenby and Josefson were held pointless, though Tedenby had 2 shots and Josefson had 1.
As CJ pointed out in the comments, Sweden was playing big in the bronze medal game against Switzerland, but the Swiss gave somewhat of a fight with 4 goals in the second period. Though that’s not saying much because the Swiss remained at least 6 goals down in the game. Sweden went on to win 11-4. Josefson had an assist, 3 shots, and a minor penalty for holding. Tedenby had a more prolific game with a goal (Sweden’s 5th so it’s the game winner!) and two assists (Sweden’s 7th and 9th goals) with 4 shots and a minor penalty for interference.
In the big gold medal game, Cormier and Henrique didn’t do anything that showed up on the boxscore. I mean nothing, no shots on net, no penalties, no points, nothing. Well, Cormier finished a -1. But that’s beside the point. They didn't do much. The final itself was thrilling with Canada's Jordan Eberle scoring two late third period goals to turn a 5-3 deficit to a tie game. Yet, John Carlson was not to be denied. Feeling the disappointment and frustration of losing one game to Canada already in extra time, Carlson stepped up and scored the biggest goal for American juniors this year in overtime. Here's a video of the play up to and including the game winning goal.
The United States wins the gold medal at the WJCs for the first time since 2004 (where some guy named Zach Parise sparkled in the tournament) and did it in Canada.
And so that's the tournament. Austria and Latvia are relegated to Division 1, and Germany and Norway will take their spots for the 2011 WJCs in Buffalo, NY. Yep. Expect the Canada-USA game to be rather intense given what happened tonight. Thank you all for commenting and following along. A short summary will be put together, well, soon.