USA vs Russia: The Blackhawks will have three representatives in the semifinal round Friday at the World Junior Championship tournament at Rogers Arena in Vancouver, British Columbia. The United States face Russia in the first semifinal and Finland meet Switzerland at center Philipp Kurashev in the second semifinal.
Event: World Junior Championship
Team: USA vs Russia
Date: Friday, January 4, 2019
Game Time: 3:00 p.m. ET
Russia had a few games that left a few question marks about their squad in the preliminary round. It was the game against Switzerland that seemed to push them to their top gear, coming back from a 3-1 deficit to win that game 7-4. They went on to defeat Canada in the final game of the preliminary schedule, and then won the least competitive of the four quarter-finals, knocking Slovakia out of the tournament with an 8-3 decision.
Today they play another team that has been working its way through the field in recent days, getting a matchup with the United States that would make for a worthy final. There will be no medals handed out after the game, but there is the threat of missing out on a chance for gold. This game should be among the best the World Juniors have seen this year.
Ryan Poehling is the tournament’s top scorer, with five goals and eight points. He is relied upon in all situations for his team. Alexander Romanov is in a similar position for the Russian side, doing it all on the blue line. He’s just one point back of Poehling for a share of the tournament scoring lead and leads all players with a +10 rating while playing significant minutes.
If you’re a Montreal Canadiens fan, it’s a chance to see two players who seem destined for roles with the NHL team in the near future. Even without that added element, it’s still bound to be a highly entertaining contest.