Underdogs, hockey rivals to battle
VANCOUVER—A pair of upsets has created a battle of the underdogs in the semifinal round of this year’s world junior hockey championship.
Switzerland and Finland are still in medal contention after posting surprising wins over last year’s champion and runner-up.
The U.S. and Russia also advanced, though their victories were less shocking.
Here’s a look at what to expect in the semifinals:
SWITZERLAND (2-0-1-2) VS. FINLAND (2-1-0-2)
Both teams punched their tickets to the playoffs with stunning victories over junior hockey powerhouses on Wednesday.
Switzerland blanked Sweden 2-0 and Finland squeaked out a 2-1 overtime win against Canada.
But neither team thinks it will be easy to get to the gold medal game.
“What I’ve seen so far, we’ll have a tough opponent against us,” Finnish coach Jussi Ahokas said Thursday.
RUSSIA (5-0-0-0) VS. U.S. (4-0-1-0)
Old rivalries run deep with these two teams.
U.S. coach Mike Hastings said Thursday that he’s “pretty old” so he knows a lot about what’s happened between the two squads.
“There’s a lot of history that goes in my mind,” he said, pointing out the “Miracle on Ice” at the 1980 Olympics in Lake Placid.
Both teams are coming into the semifinals confident after posting convincing wins in the quarter-finals. More at thestar.com/sports