Two of the world juniors powerhouses — Sweden and Russia — meet in the semifinal on Saturday. The winner plays for gold on Sunday while the loser goes for bronze with the possibility of walking away empty-handed.
The Swedes have yet to lose a game and easily defeated the host Czechs in the quarterfinals. A squad jam-packed with talent, they've potted a tournament-high 25 goals while allowing a low-leading eight. Vancouver Canucks prospect Nils Hoglander leads the tournament with 10 points (five goals, five assists). Samuel Fagemo, the Los Angeles Kings second-round pick in 2019, is first in goals scored with six. Toronto Maple Leafs defenseman Rasmus Sandin has been a bit banged up in this one — taking a couple of slashes to the arm — but has been a key offensive threat with five assists.
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Russia enters the semis coming off a 3-1 win over Switzerland. Yaroslav Askarov has had an up-and-down tourney but stopped 14 of 15 shots in net on Thursday. Expected to go high in the 2020 draft, a rarity for backstops, he should be in between the pipes on Saturday. The Russians have a balanced lineup and regularly roll four lines that can bury the puck. Five of their skaters are tied with six points: Nikita Alexandrov (goal, five assists), Kirill Marchenko (two goals, four assists), Dmitri Voronkov (three goals, three assists) Grigori Denisenko (two goals, four assists) and Alexander Khovanov (two goals, four assists).
Here is how you can watch the semifinal matchup between Sweden and Russia on Saturday:
How to watch Sweden vs. Russia
TV channel (U.S.): NHL Network
TV channel (Canada): TSN
Live stream (Canada): TSN Live
Sweden vs. Russia: When is puck drop?
Date: Saturday, Jan. 4
Time: 9 a.m. ET
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Full World Junior Championship schedule
SATURDAY, JAN. 4
SF: Sweden vs. Russia
TSN 1/4/5, NHLN
SUNDAY, JAN. 5
(All times Eastern)