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World Juniors 2017: Canada vs. USA, Toronto, Saturday, Dec. 31

It’s a New Year’s Eve showdown for the top seeding in Group B.

Taylor Raddysh #16 of Team Canada celebrates one of his four goals against Team Latvia on Thursday. Canada defeated Latvia 10-2
Claus Andersen/Getty Images

Sweden vs Czech Republic

Time: 1 pm Eastern Time

Location: Bell Center

Streaming: TSN 3/5

USA vs. Canada

Time: 3:30 pm Eastern Time

Location: Air Canada Center

Streaming: NHL Network, TSN 1/3/4/5

Finland vs. Switzerland

Time: 5:30 pm Eastern Time

Location: Bell Center

Streaming: NHL Network TSN 3/5

Russia vs. Slovakia

Time: 8 pm Eastern Time

Location: Air Canada Center

Streaming: TSN 1/3/4/5

Recap of Thursday night’s game

Switzerland 5, Denmark 4 (SO)

The Swiss came from behind and eventually won in the shootout — and the victory had reverberations throughout the entire tournament. The victory means defending WJC champ Finland has been dropped to the relegation round. The woefully underperforming Finns have not yet won a game in the tournament. All three losses have come in overtime. It also means that it’s the first time in WJC history that a team followed up its WJC-winning gold medal with relegation play the following year.

The reaction was swift for Finland: The entire coaching staff was fired, the head coach and three assistant coaches..

Slovakia 4, Latvia 2

Slovakia took the early lead and never looked back in their victory. Latvia dropped to 0-4-0 in the tournament, and will face Finland in the relegation round.

Previewing Canada vs. USA

For the two North American neighbors/competitors, this New Year’s Eve preliminary round showdown couldn’t have been scripted any better. Team Canada and Team USA are both undefeated thus far, so there’s a lot at stake: the top seed of the Group B standings as the WJC moves into the quarterfinal next week.

The Americans are coming off a huge victory against Russia 3-2, and by doing so, they got rid of some demons: USA’s World Junior team hadn’t defeated Russia since 2007.

The Canadians, meanwhile, are coming off a 10-2 win against lowly Latvia. That they even gave up the two goals could be a cause for concern. Latvia kept up in the first period with getting shots through, and if USA can tighten up on defense, that could spell trouble for Canada. However, it’s hard to see the Americans matching Canada’s offensive fire. The Americans though have scored 14 goals while giving up four in three games. Canada has scored 20 (remember that half was to one team) and have given up five as well, all given up by Carter Hart.

Whether Canada continues to switch off with their starting goaltenders remains to be seen, but it should be Lightning prospect Connor Ingram who starts this afternoon. It’s not easy to only face six shots during a full hockey game. But he got that shutout in the second game, and having him between the pipes against Team USA will give a clear picture as to who the Canadians should run with in the quarterfinal next week.

Team Canada

Forwards

Pierre-Luc Dubois - Dylan Strome - Blake Speers

Mathieu Joseph - Mathew Barzal - Taylor Raddysh

Tyson Jost - Nicolas Roy - Julien Gauthier

Dillon Dubé - Anthony Cirelli - Mitchell Stephens

Michael McLeod

Defense

Thomas Chabot - Philippe Myers

Jake Bean - Noah Juulsen

Kale Clague - Dante Fabbro

Jeremy Lauzon

Goaltenders

Connor Ingram

Carter Hart

Team USA

Forward Lines

Clayton Keller - Colin White - Joey Anderson

Jordan Greenway - Luke Kunin - Jeremy Bracco

Kiefer Bellows - Jack Roslovic - Tage Thompson

Erik Foley - Tanner Laczynski - Troy Terry

Defense Pairings

Caleb Jones - Charlie McAvoy

Ryan Lindgren - Adam Fox

Jack Ahcan - Joe Cecconi

Goaltenders

Tyler Parsons

Joseph Woll