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World Juniors 2018: Schedule, scores, results, and highlights from hockey championship tournament

Canada took home gold after the United States failed to defend their championship in Buffalo.

Sweden v Canada: Gold Medal Game - 2018 IIHF World Junior Championship Photo by Nicholas T. LoVerde/Getty Images

It’s the holiday season, and that means the hockey world is celebrating yet again with the 2018 IIHF World Junior Championships in Buffalo. The top international tournament for players under age 20 has reached the playoff stage and concludes with the championship game on Jan. 5.

The United States failed to defend their title on home ice after a thrilling gold medal victory over Canada a year ago. A 4-2 loss to Sweden in the semifinal match has dashed their chance at repeating as champions for the first time in history.

However, they rebounded in the bronze medal game with a 9-3 blowout win over the Czech Republic led by a four-goal performance from Trent Frederic. It’s the third consecutive year that the U.S. has won a WJC medal.

This is the sixth time that the United States has hosted the World Juniors and the second time it’s been in Buffalo. Most of the games have been hosted at KeyBank Center and HarborCenter, but there was also some history made.

On Dec. 29, the U.S. topped Canada, 4-3, at New Era Field in the first-ever outdoor game as part of a World Juniors tournament. It was an incredible scene that ended with a shootout just like their championship bout a year ago.

Other than the focus on those two teams, NHL fans have a chance to check out a litany of elite NHL prospects. From Finland’s Miro Heiskanen, Eeli Tolvanen, and Olli Juolevi to Sweden’s Rasmus Dahlin, Elias Pettersson, and Alexander Nylander to Russia’s Andrei Svechnikov, Klim Kostin, and German Rubtsov, these games are loaded with future stars. Dahlin, Svechnikov, Tkachuk, and Hughes in particular are expected to be top picks in the 2018 NHL Draft.

It’s been a great tournament so far, and the playoff stage should be even better.


The World Juniors opens Dec. 26 with a preliminary round in which the 10 teams are split into groups of five. The top four teams from each group advance to the playoff round, while the teams that finish last in each group play each other to avoid relegation.

The team that finishes 10th out of 10 teams will be relegated to Division I to make room for Kazakhstan, which recently earned its promotion back to the top level for the first time since 2009.

The playoff round is a simple eight-team single-elimination bracket concluding with the gold medal game on Jan. 5. The losers of the semifinals will also play that day in the bronze medal game to determine who finishes third.


Schedule and results

All times Eastern

Tuesday, Dec. 26 (HIGHLIGHTS)

Group B: Czech Republic 5, Russia 4

Group B: Sweden 6, Belarus 1

Group A: Canada 4, Finland 2

Key highlight: Cal Foote’s remarkable save in the third period

Group A: United States 9, Denmark 0

Wednesday, Dec. 27 (HIGHLIGHTS)

Group B: Switzerland 3, Belarus 2

Group A: Canada 6, Slovakia 0

Thursday, Dec. 28

Group A: Finland 4, Denmark 1

Group B: Russia 5, Switzerland 2

Group B: Sweden 3, Czech Republic 1

Group A: Slovakia 3, United States 2

Key highlight: Casey Mittelstadt slices the defense for a goal

Friday, Dec. 29

Group B: Russia 5, Belarus 2

Group A: United States 4, Canada 3 (SO)

Key highlights: Check out the best plays and moments from New Era Field

Saturday, Dec. 30

Group B: Czech Republic 6, Belarus 5

Group B: Sweden 7, Switzerland 2

Group A: Finland 5, Slovakia 2

Group A: Canada 8, Denmark 0

Sunday, Dec. 31

Group B: Czech Republic 6, Switzerland 3

Group A: United States 5, Finland 4

Group A: Slovakia 5, Denmark 1

Group B: Sweden 4, Russia 3 (SO)

Tuesday, Jan. 2

Quarterfinals: Czech Republic 4, Finland 3 (SO)

Relegation: Denmark 5, Belarus 4

Quarterfinals: Canada 8, Switzerland 2

Quarterfinals: Sweden 3, Slovakia 2

Quarterfinals: USA 4, Russia 2

Thursday, Jan. 4

Relegation: Denmark 3, Belarus 2 (SO)

Semifinals: Sweden 4, USA 2

Key highlight: Team USA’s failed 3-on-0 breakaway may have been a pivotal moment

Semifinals: Canada 7, Czech Republic 2

Friday, Jan. 5

Bronze medal game: USA 9, Czech Republic 3

Gold medal game: Canada 3, Sweden 1