Free Picks: World Junior Ice Hockey Championships 2020 Semifinals

Free Picks: World Junior Ice Hockey Championships 2020 Semifinals

Entering the Semifinals for the IIHF 2020 Championships, the teams were ranked as Sweden 1st, Canada 2nd, Finland 5th and Russia in 6th. This meant the teams had to be reseeded according to the standard championship structure, meaning 1st vs 5th and 2nd vs 6th.

This means we have Canada up against the defending gold medalists Finland, while the unbeaten Swedes will matchup against Russia.

With just four teams left, who will progress to the final?

 

Canada (1.60) vs Finland (4.03)

We head to the Ostravar Arena for the second of two semifinal games at the 2020 IIHF World Championships in Croatia.

Canada played an excellent game in their last hammering Slovakia 6-1, with a pair of goals from captain Barrett Hayton featured for Canada while Alexis Lafreniere, Liam Foudy, Connor McMichael, and Jacob Bernard-Docker also scored.

Portland Winterhawks goaltender Joel Hofer also put in an excellent performance, boosting Canada’s confidence going into the semis against Finland, who made 17 saves in the second period.

The USA were out for revenge in their matchup with Finland, and were the bookies favourite to progress, but they were thwarted by the reigning champions.

Finland’s quarterfinal matchup was a game dictated by defense, which only featured one goal that came in the second period. Finland will have to step their game up again to stop the Canada offense, but they are more than capable as we saw last year.

This is our hockey free pick of the day, as we this will be the game to watch out of the semifinal matchups.

Take Canada to win.

Canada To beat Finland
1.60
Bodog

 

 

Sweden (2.46) vs Russia (2.36)

Our second match, and the first of the day, is also at the Ostravar Arena as the high-flying Sweden team will face the Russians to decide who progresses to the final.

Sweden are are the only team in the championship to have won all of their games, having beaten defending gold medalists Finland (3-2 in OT), Switzerland (5-2), Kazakhstan (6-2), Slovakia (6-2) and Czech Republic (5-0).

Russia are the bookies favourite in this one, but it could easily go either way. Both teams have been excellent throughout the tournament, so this will be a great game for the neutral.

The Russians will continue to rely on the fluid front three of Denisenko, Morozov and Dorofeyev to produce the goods. While they’ll have Yaroslav Askarov, who has been mr reliable, between the pipes.

Russian beat Switzerland 3-1 in their quarter final matchup, with Calgary defenceman Egor Zamula finding the assist for Russia’s third goal of the game.

Expect Sweden to win again.

Sweden To beat Russia
2.46
Sports Interaction