The field has been whittled down to four countries at the 2015 IIHF Ice Hockey U18 World Championship. The teams still standing – Canada, the United States, Finland and host Switzerland – will take the ice on Saturday in the two semifinal games taking place at Bossard Arena in Zug, Switzerland.
The first semifinal game will feature North American neighbors and rivals, Canada and the USA. The U.S. squad is the highest scoring team at this year’s tournament with 37 goals in five games, so they may carry the favorite tag into this game. But Team Canada hasn’t lost at this year’s tournament (the U.S. has one loss), and they always give Team USA fits regardless of the caliber of the competition. The U.S. moved on to the semifinals after a 7-2 win over the Czech Republic, while Canada advanced on the strength of a 5-3 win over Sweden.
In the second semifinal match, Switzerland has a chance to pull another upset against a Finland squad that has been stingy in the goals-against department at this tournament. The Swiss had not played particularly well leading up to their quarterfinal game against Russia, but they put it all together in a shocking 5-0 win over the Russians. Finland advanced after defeating Slovakia, 3-0.
Hockey’s Future writer Chapin Landvogt is in Zug covering the U18 tournament. In this HF podcast, he previews the two semifinal games, including discussion of some of the players taking part that will also be eligible for the 2015 NHL Draft.
To listen to this podcast, you can either use the embedded player below, or right-click the link below the player to download the MP3 file.
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