For the first time in the whole tournament, not a single Bruin prospect played in any game. Only two games were in session on the last Friday of 2016.
Switzerland vs Denmark
The first game of the day was Switzerland vs Denmark inside the Bell Centre in Montreal, Quebec. Heading into the contest, Switzerland had a 1-1 record, including a surprise win over a Czech Republic team back on Tuesday. Denmark however, won their previous two games before puck drop on Friday night. After a win over the falling Finnish team, Denmark continued the success run with a win over Czech Republic in overtime. Friday’s contest though, went to the Swiss team following a shootout.
Denmark’s goalie, Kasper Krog stopped 49 of the shots put on him by Switzerland, but the team couldn’t get more than four goals. Denmark came out to a 3-0 lead in the first period and extended it to 4-1 in the second. Switzerland managed to score two goals in the middle frame and one in the third to make an interesting comeback that needed extra time.
But the win is bigger for Finland, and not for a good reason. With the 0-3 record, Finland will now go in a best-of-three relegation round with Latvia. A loss in that series, would be bad, bad news. Also, this is the first year that a gold medal winning team goes into relegation the next year. A record that Finland didn’t want to own.
Latvia vs Slovakia
After losing their last game 10-2 to Canada, Latvia now got set to play Slovakia in the final game of the group stage for the Latvians. Latvia struck first 3:40 minutes and things were looking okay. Until Filip Lestan tied the game up at one for Slovakia. Three goals after that, the Slovaks now have a 4-1 lead over a team that has become known to lose in the World Juniors.
Filips Buncis would score the second goal for Latvia, but it wouldn’t be enough to close the game. Latvia lost their fourth consecutive game and will play Finland in the relegation best-of-three series.
We are back to the four game schedule for New Year’s Eve and the game that everyone has been waiting for will finally happen. First off, Czech Republic takes on Sweden, then Canada plays USA in a North American battle for the ages. Later on in the day, Switzerland plays the second game of a back-to-back with the 0-3 Finland team. And finally, Russia goes head-to-head with Slovakia. Saturday’s games will also be the final decider of the playoff brackets.