Semifinals day at the World Juniors sees Canada meet Russia

Semifinals day at the World Juniors sees Canada meet Russia
Jason Franson / The Canadian Press
Canada celebrates the win over the Czech Republic during IIHF World Junior Hockey Championship action in Edmonton on Saturday, January 2, 2021.

Team Canada is set to meet Team Russia at the first of two semifinal games at the World Junior Men’s Hockey Championship in Edmonton today.

The winner will play in Tuesday night’s gold-medal game against the winner of the second semifinal matchup between Finland and the United States.

The losers of both semifinal games will play in the bronze-medal game, also scheduled for Tuesday.

Canada — the reigning champs — and Russia played each other in a pre-tournament game back on Dec. 23.

Jamie Drysdale scored the lone goal of the game in a 1-0 Canada victory.

Canada blanked the Czechs in a 3-0 quarterfinal win while Russia edged Germany 2-1.

Both teams also met in last year’s gold-medal game in the Czech Republic, where Canada defeated Russia 4-3. Canada erased a 3-1 deficit in the third period en route to their 18th gold medal win all-time.

The heroics of last year’s comeback helped earned the 2019-20 Canadian World Junior squad the title of CP team of the year.

Canada hopes to be the first repeat champion since 2009, a year in which they captured their fifth consecutive gold medal.

Vancouver Island hockey fans will have an additional reason to cheer for this year’s team as it features two players with Island connections.

Forward Alex Newhook used to lace them up for the Victoria Grizzlies, earning the BC Hockey League (BCHL) Rookie of the Year, BCHL MVP, and the BCHL scoring title during his two years on Vancouver Island.

Also, goaltender Dylan Garand has his roots here on Vancouver Island, growing up in Victoria and playing Juan de Fuca Minor Hockey.

Puck drop between Team Canada and Team Russia is at 3 p.m. PT on Monday.

With files to the Canadian Press.

Graham CoxGraham Cox

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