The arrival of the holiday season means the World Junior Hockey Championship is just around the corner.
Once again, the best under-20 players from around the globe will convene to determine which nation has the best crop of juniors. This time the setting is the Czech Republic — eastern cities Ostrava and Trinec serve as host venues for the latest edition of the tournament.
The Czechs will be looking to use home-ice advantage to propel themselves onto the podium for the first time since 2005, when they finished third behind champion Canada and silver medalist Russia. It's been even longer since the Czech Republic claimed gold in this competition, with back-to-back first-place finishes in 2000 and 2001 the last (and only) times the nation has topped the podium.
As usual, the likes of Canada, the United States and Russia will be considered among the favorites, although Finland will be eager to defend its title after a stunning run through the competition last year.
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Here's all you need to know about the tournament.
Where is the 2020 World Junior Championship?
The 2020 World Junior Championship will take place in the Czech Republic, with the cities of Ostrava and Trinec playing host to the games.
This will be the 44th edition of the tournament, the fourth in the Czech Republic.
When will the 2020 World Junior Championship take place?
The tournament runs from Dec. 26 to Jan. 5.
With two groups of five teams, the group stage spans the first six days of competition — ending on New Year's Eve. The eight surviving teams have New Year's Day off before returning to action for the quarterfinals on Thursday, Jan. 2, with the winners advancing to the semifinals two days later. The bronze medal and gold medal games take place Sunday, Jan. 5.
What channel is the World Junior Championship being aired on?
- TV channel (U.S.): NHL Network
- TV channel (Canada): TSN
- Livestream (Canada): TSN Direct
World Juniors primer: A team-by-team guide to the 2020 under-20 championship
Which teams are in the World Junior Championship?
There are ten teams participating, split into two groups of five.
|Group A||Group B|
When is Canada vs. USA?
The hockey gods have blessed us with an early meeting between the North American rivals, as Canada will take on the United States on Thursday, Dec. 26 — the first day of competition.
Puck drop is scheduled for 1 p.m. Eastern Time.
Full schedule for the 2020 World Junior Championship
Participating teams are each guaranteed four group-stage games, with those who advance to the final day of competition (bronze medal and gold medal games) playing seven total contests.
All times Eastern.
|THURSDAY, DEC. 26|
|Switzerland 5, Kazakhstan 3||9 a.m.||TSN 1/3|
|Czech Republic 4, Russia 3||9 a.m.||TSN 4/5, NHLN|
|Sweden 3, Finland 2 (OT)||1 p.m.||TSN3|
|Canada 6, United States 4||1 p.m.||TSN 1/4/5, NHLN|
|FRIDAY, DEC. 27|
|Slovakia 3, Kazakhstan 1||9 a.m.||TSN, NHLN|
|Germany 3, United States 6||1 p.m.||TSN 1/3/4, NHLN|
|SATURDAY, DEC. 28|
|Finland 8, Slovakia 1||9 a.m.||TSN 1/3, NHLN|
|Czech Republic 3, Germany 4||9 a.m.||TSN 4/5|
|Switzerland 2, Sweden 5||1 p.m.||TSN3|
|Russia 6, Canada 0||1 p.m.||TSN 1/4/5, NHLN|
|SUNDAY, DEC. 29|
|Kazakhstan 1, Finland 7||9 a.m.||TSN 3/4/5, NHLN|
|United States 3, Russia 1||1 p.m.||TSN 4/5, NHLN|
|MONDAY, DEC. 30|
|Kazakhstan 2, Sweden 6||9 a.m.||TSN3|
|Germany 1, Canada 4||9 a.m.||TSN 1/4/5, NHLN|
|Slovakia 2, Switzerland 7||1 p.m.||TSN 1/3|
|United States 4, Czech Republic 3 (OT)||1 p.m.||TSN 4/5, NHLN|
|TUESDAY, DEC. 31|
|Sweden 6, Slovakia 2||9 a.m.||TSN 1/3, NHLN|
|Russia 6, Germany 1||9 a.m.||TSN 4/5|
|Finland 2, Switzerland 5||1 p.m.||TSN3|
|Canada 7, Czech Republic 2||1 p.m.||TSN 1/4/5, NHLN|
|THURSDAY, JAN. 2|
|QF: Switzerland 1, Russia 3||6:30 a.m.||TSN, NHLN|
|QF: Canada 6, Slovakia 1||9 a.m.||TSN, NHLN|
|QF: USA 0, Finland 1||11:30 a.m.||TSN, NHLN|
|QF: Sweden 5, Czech Republic 0||2 p.m.||TSN, NHLN|
|SATURDAY, JAN. 4|
|SF: Sweden 4, Russia 5 (OT)||9 a.m.||TSN, NHLN|
|SF: Canada 5, Finland 0||1 p.m.||TSN 1/4/5, NHLN|
|SUNDAY, JAN. 5|
|Relegation game: Germany 6, Kazakhstan 0||5 a.m.|
|Bronze medal game: Sweden 3, Finland 2||9 a.m.||TSN, NHLN|
|Gold-medal game: Russia vs. Canada||1 p.m.||TSN, NHLN|
Who won the 2019 World Junior Championship?
Finland won the tournament in 2019, defeating the U.S. 3-2 in the final. It was Finland's fifth gold medal in the competition.
Who won the World Junior Championships this decade?
SATURDAY, JAN. 4
Which countries have won the most medals at the World Junior Championship?
* includes medals won as the Soviet Union and CIS
+ includes medals won as Czechoslovakia