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World Junior Roundup: Quarterfinal Matchups Set

The quarterfinal matchups have been decided after an exciting final day of preliminary round action at the World Junior Championship.

Switzerland Eliminates Austria in Do-or-Die Game

Team Switzerland

The job was simple: win and you're in, lose and you're on the next flight home.

And with a five-minute power play with 4:56 left setting the stage for the team's victory, Switzerland managed to defeat Austria 3-2 to advance to the final eight.

Switzerland will now meet with Canada, the top seed from Group A.

Austria scored on the team's first shot to take a surprising early lead. Leon Wallner found a bouncing puck just under Noah Patenaude and knocked it in, making it 1-0 at 8:08. That lead lasted for nine minutes until Joshua Fahrni found the back of the net on the power play for the Swiss, tying it up at one apiece.

After a large 13-2 shot disparity in Switzerland's favor in the first, the second was a bit closer, with both teams registering 13. Jonas Taibel made it 2-1 at 34:17 for Switzerland before Austria's late-period push was made whole when Ian Scherzer tied the game back up again.

The game looked headed for overtime until a boarding game misconduct to Lorenz Lindner with 4:56 left meant Austria would play the rest of the game down a man. That's where it bit them, as Attilio Biasca was able to knock the puck loose from the crease and jammed it to the left of Wraneschitz, giving Switzerland the big 3-2 lead late less than a minute into the man advantage. Switzerland then did a good job of just holding the puck for as long as possible, preventing Austria to get anything done in the dying seconds to secure the victory and advance to the playoff round.

Canada Wins Group A After Battle With Finland

CA1_6550

Canada has finished in the top spot in Group A after a 6-3 victory over Finland on Monday.

Canada closes out the round-robin with a perfect 4-0-0-0 record, outscoring opponents 27-7. Canada will meet up with Switzerland on Wednesday, while Finland will battle against Germany.

Canada struggled to generate chances early, taking 6:21 to record their first shot. It was an effective shot, though, as Olen Zellweger's blast from the point was tipped by Brennan Othmann, giving Canada the early advantage. Six minutes later, Tyson Foerster converted on a scoring chance by Ridly Greig, who skated between two defenders before Foerster knocked in the puck while falling down.

At 17:19, Connor Bedard show what he was capable of. The 2023 draft phenom rushed in and fired a quick wrister over Finnish keeper Leevi Merilainen, giving Canada a big 3-0 lead. Finland would cut into the advantage with under a minute left in the opening frame when Samuel Helenius' shot hit a defenseman in front of the Canadian net and soared over Dylan Garand for the 3-1 goal.

Greig, the catalyst for Canada's second goal, earned one for himself just 31 seconds into the second. After Merilainen stopped a blast from the point, Greig was there on the doorstep to knock in the loose puck to restore Canada's three-goal advantage. Mason McTavish scored on the power play at 36:17 to make it 5-1. 

The Finns weren't backing down, and at 43:07, Joakim Kemell tipped Topi Niemela's blast from the point behind Garand for the 5-2 goal. Three minutes later, Finland found themselves on a brief 5-on-3 thanks to a high-sticking penalty to Donovan Sebrango and a kneeing game misconduct to Will Cuylle. The Finns couldn't do anything om that advantage, though, but Roby Jarventie scored with the empty net on the man advantage at 56:23 when his shot hit Garand's pad and in for the 5-3 goal. By then, though, it was far too late for the Finns to fight back, and William Dufour scored an empty-netter to cap off the night's action.

Sweden Too Much for Germany

Team Sweden

Sweden secured the second spot in Group B with a 4-2 victory over Germany on Monday.

Both teams had already advanced to the quarterfinal, but there was still second place in the group on the line.

The Germans got the first opportunity to celebrate when a soft backhand pass by Bennet Rossmy bounced off Calle Clang's pad and in for the surprising 1-0 lead. Clang was perfect the rest of the way, though, with his team in front of him doing the heavy lifting until the final buzzer. 

That started at 5:52 when Oskar Olausson's shot beat Nikita Quapp from a distance, only to have Daniel Ljungman and Oskar Magnusson score a minute apart later in the first.

The score remained the same until 45:46 when Theodor Ljungman found Ljungman for his second of the night, this time against Germany's relief goaltender, Niklas Lunemann. The game mellowed out after that, but Luca Munzenberger scored a wonky goal that went skyward before bouncing in with just seven seconds left to make it 4-2.

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Quarterfinal Schedule (Thurs, Aug. 17):

12:00 PM ET - Finland vs. Germany
3:30 PM ET - Sweden vs. Latvia
7:00 PM ET - Canada vs. Switzerland
10:30 PM ET - USA vs. Czechia

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