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World Juniors Recap: December 28

One prospect played while another’s tournament is in jeopardy.

Czechia v Canada: Preliminary Round Group A - 2022 IIHF World Junior Championship Photo by Codie McLachlan/Getty Images

USA vs. Itself

Well, it was fun while it lasted. The United States had to forfeit its game against the Swiss due to both of its goaltenders testing positive for COVID. I’m absolutely gutted for Scott Morrow, who was scratched during the first game and now has to wait on more testing to see if the United States can play against Sweden Wednesday. Fingers crossed that it all works out and the USA is able to defend its gold medal.

Canada vs. Austria

I don’t think there were many that doubted the outcome of this game. Canada drubbed Austria 11-2, and Hurricanes prospect Ronan Seeley had two assists for his first points of the World Juniors. Top 2023 draft prospect Connor Bedard scored four goals in the win, all of which were his first goals on the biggest stage of U20 hockey.

I’m not reading too much into this game as far as Seeley’s play is concerned. It’s great to see him utilizing his shot to create offense and the breakout pass for his other assist was nice. Canada should be doing this to Austria, however, so the competition wasn’t that good. I will say that this was a much stronger game from Seeley overall, which is nice to see. He’s developing some chemistry with Owen Power, too.

Wednesday’s Games

Finland (Koivunen #24, Heimosalmi #21) vs. Czechia, 2pm ET

Slovakia vs. Russia (Ponomaryov #13, Guslistov #21, Pashin #28), 4:30pm ET

Canada (Seeley #8) vs. Germany (Quapp #30), 7pm ET

Sweden (Nybeck #18, Nystrom #26) vs. USA (Morrow #23), 9:30pm ET*

*Game subject to cancellation if USA has more positive tests