2018 World Junior Championship Schedule Released

The schedule for the 2017 IIHF World Junior Championship in Buffalo, New York is highlighted by the first ever outdoor game in IIHF competition, a tilt between defending champs Team USA and their cross-border rivals, Canada, on December 29, at New Era Field in nearby Orchard Park.

Canada and Team USA round out Group A, playing mainly out of KeyBank Center (home of the Buffalo Sabres), with Slovakia, Denmark, and a surprising Finnish squad that barely avoided relegation in 2017. The only exception will be the aforementioned outdoor game, played at the home of the Buffalo Bills, which can seat well over 70,000 people, and will surely be packed with fans from both sides, with Buffalo being a short drive from the Canadian border. Group B will split play between KeyBank Center and nearby HarborCenter, and features last year’s Semifinalists Russia and Sweden, along with Czechia, Switzerland, and newly-promoted Belarus.

Team USA will surely be looking to successfully defend their title to win their fifth Championship, their first back-to-back title, and first on home ice. But Canada and Russia will both be looking to retake their spot atop the junior hockey world, while perennial contenders Sweden and Czechia will be lurking, and a determined Finnish squad will look to redeem themselves after last year’s shockingly pitiful performance.

The tournament schedule is as follows:

GROUP A – canada1965-11  finland-11  usa-11 GROUP B –  czech-11 russia-11 switzerland-11 sweden-11
Tuesday, December 26
canada1965-11 Canada vs. Finland finland-11
 Denmark vs. United States usa-11
czech-11 Czechia vs. Russia russia-11
 Belarus vs. Sweden sweden-11
Wednedsay, December 27
canada1965-11 Canada vs. Slovakia  Belarus vs. Switzerland switzerland-11
Thursday, December 28
 Denmark vs. Finland finland-11
 Slovakia vs. United States usa-11
russia-11 Russia vs. Switzerland switzerland-11
czech-11 Czechia vs. Sweden sweden-11
Friday, December 29
canada1965-11 Canada vs. United States usa-11  Belarus vs. Russia russia-11
Saturday, December 30
finland-11 Finland vs. Slovakia 
canada1965-11 Canada vs. Denmark
 Belarus vs. Czechia czech-11
switzerland-11 Switzerland vs. Sweden sweden-11
Sunday, December 31
finland-11 Finland vs. United States usa-11
 Denmark vs. Slovakia 
czech-11 Czechia vs. Switzerland switzerland-11
russia-11 Russia vs. Sweden sweden-11
Tuesday, January 2
Quarterfinal: A1 vs. B4
Quarterfinal: B1 vs. A4
Quarterfinal:A2 vs. B3
Quarterfinal: B2 vs. A3
Relegation Game #1
Thursday, January 4
Semifinal #1
Semifinal #2
Relegation Game #2
Friday, January 5
Gold Medal Game
Bronze Medal Game
Relegation Game #3 (if necessary)

The IHLC champion for the tournament will be confirmed at the very latest by the Four Nations Cup in November, as we will know if the title made it past next month’s National Junior Evaluation Camp to a European squad, or if Canada or the defending champs will keep the title until Boxing Day. It is sure to be a fun ride en route to Buffalo!

Photo Credit: SportsnetIIHFHHOFIOC



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