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What to Expect for the Upcoming World Junior Championships

The World Junior Championship is all about hockey. It is an annual tournament organized by the International Ice Hockey Federation (IIHF) for hockey players and teams under 20 from all over the world. The tournament will start on Dec. 26 and will end on Jan. 5. It will take place in the Canadian cities of Halifax and Moncton.


The U.S. team dropped their preliminary roster on December 5 and their 23-player roster will be announced around Dec. 23. Some of the big names in the U.S. roster include Luke Hughes, Logan Cooley, and Cutter Gauthier.


The team's training camp will take place from Dec. 12 to 17 in Plymouth, Michigan, and it will be open for the public to watch the 32 players play for a spot on the final roster.


Team USA has won five gold medals, two silver medals, and six bronze medals at the World Juniors. At last year's tournament, the U.S. finished in fifth while Canada took gold.


Similar to other hockey tournaments, Canada is one of the USA’s biggest rivals in this championship. Some players in Canada’s selection camp roster include Connor Bedard, Adam Fantilli, and Kevin Korchinski.


The U.S. plays a pre-tournament game against Finland on Dec. 19 and Sweden on Dec. 21. Their first official game is against Latvia on the opening day of the tournament, Dec. 26. Canada’s first game is on the same day against Czechia.


In this tournament, there are two groups. Team A includes Canada, Sweden, Czechia, Germany, and Austria. Team B includes the United States, Finland, Switzerland, Slovakia, and Latvia.


Teams will play in four preliminary games in a round-robin format starting on Dec. 26. Then starting on Jan. 2, the top four teams from each group advance to the quarterfinals where the matchups are determined by seeding. They will cross over between groups so it will look like: 1A vs. 4B, 1B vs. 4A, 2A vs. 3B, and 2B vs. 3A. The teams will then advance to the semifinals that start on Jan. 4 and will be reseeded. The winners of the semifinals will face off in the gold medal game on Jan. 5 and the losers will also play on Jan. 5 for the bronze.


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