IIHF WORLD CHAMPIONSHIP SEMIFINALS PREVIEW

2023-05-26 · 3 min read · IIHF World Championship/Hockey
Canada vs Sweden, Latvia vs Austria, IIHF World Junior Championship

IIHF 2007- 2023 | Getty Images

After a wild quarter-final featuring two shocking surprises (here’s looking at you Germany) and the elimination of the reigning champs, we are on to the Semi-finals. I’m expected on some more excitement and some tight games; let's take a look at the matchups
Canada vs Latvia
  • Latvia can't upset a second seemingly medal bound team in a row, can they? The only remaining host nation is riding a six-game winning streak, including a tough comeback against the Swiss that needed OT to secure a playoff spot. Now a 3-1 victory over Sweden in the quarter-final; during which they were calm and collected throughout. Even though they had trouble controlling the puck and were outshot 41-15, Latvia is moving on to the Semi Finals for the first time in tournament history. Canada is certainly not going to lie down and let Latvia continue their Cinderella run. As the Canadians have been to the finals three consecutive years and four of the last five; yet only have a single gold to show for it. Canada also just manhandled Finland 4-1 to get revenge for last year's gold medal game and secure a trip to the Semis. Canada had previously beatdown Latvia 6-0, in the preliminary round to open the tournament. Latvia should be very proud of where they are at, they have earned it. However barring goaltender Arturs Silovs standing on his head and/or impeccable forechecking; it is really tough to see them squeaking by a deep and hungry Canadian squad. This is Canada’s game to lose, but also Latvia’s chance at making history.
  • My pick - Canada 4-2
USA vs Germany
  • The United States has been dominant so far, with the quarterfinals being no different as they snuffed out Czechia 3-0. I thought Czechia would show up big and give the US some trouble. This did not happen as the United States was in the driver's seat early before speeding away. In the 1st period they outshot Czechia 11-2, they finished the game with a massive 34-15 shot advantage; with many of the 15 being low chance shots. The USA team now gets an upstart German squad who flummoxed and frustrated the Swiss into bad shots as well as mental gaffes. Germany has now won five straight, only allowing five goals in the past four games with only one coming in the last two games. The United States team is not the Swiss and definitely not the French, this will be their biggest challenge yet. USA edged Germany 3-2 in a rugged preliminary round meeting, surprisingly in the game the Germans actually outshot the Americans 32-26. USA is the favourite given their impressive play throughout the tourney, if the Germans stay aggressive and a bounce or two goes their way, this could be another surprise. Germany has not played for a medal since losing the 2021 third place game to the United States, is it time for revenge or a reminder?

  • My pick - Germany 3-2
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By: Chase Howard

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