Monday, December 20, 2004

Prediction: World Junior Hockey Championship

In the latest issue, Hockey News contributer Alan Adams runs through his predictions for the World Junior Championship that get's underway on Christmas Day. Here's his list:
1. Canada
2. Russia
3. Czech Republic
4. Sweden
5. Finland
6. USA
7. Slovakia
8. Switzerland
9. Germany
10. Belarus
Hmmm. Well, seeing the defending champs from the US fall all the way to 6th would certainly be a surprise. I'm fairly confident that's not going to happen, so here's my rundown of how things will shake down.

1. Russia. Looking through the lineups, Canada should win this thing. Then again, they should have won quite a few times in the last seven years, and it hasn't happened. Russia has superstars Alexander Ovechkin and Evgeni Malkin and a solid cast behind them.

2. Canada. Yes, I'm predicting a 4th straight silver for Canada. The team's main questions will come in goal, with both Jeff Glass and Rejean Beauchemin having limited international experience. Otherwise, and especially on defense, this is a stacked entry with 12 returning players. Anything short of gold will be a disapointment, although, when wasn't that the case with Canada?

3. USA. Not as deep as last year's championship team, the home team will still have a solid entry based around returnees Ryan Suter and goaltender Al Montoya.

4. Sweden.
5. Czech Republic.
6. Slovakia.
7. Finland.
8. Switzerland.
9. Germany.
10. Belarus.

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