Photo: Forward Sebastian Uvira, who just competed for Germany at the 2013 WJC, has a new team in the OHL as he has been dealt by the Oshawa Generals to the Plymouth Whalers (courtesy of Aaron Bell/OHL Images)
Coming into the 2013 World Junior Championship, Team Germany’s head coach Ernst Hofner went about his preparatory business knowing right from the beginning that his country was fighting to avoid relegation, that an appearance in the relegation round was just short of pre-programmed, and that Germany would be using the preliminary round to prepare for what would likely come down to a game between Germany and – should there be no surprises – Latvia. This may have been the forecast made by most beforehand, and it was exactly how things ended up.
Photo: Kitchener Rangers forward and Edmonton Oilers prospect Tobias Rieder has represented his country of Germany very well at four U-20 WJC events(courtesy of Terry Wilson/OHL Images)
With their 5-2 win over Latvia, Team Germany accomplished their main goal of avoiding relegation at the 2013 World Junior Championship. The win allows the Germans to compete in the top WJC grouping again next year when the tournament is held in Sweden.
Photo: German forward Leon Draisaitl, who plays for the WHL's Prince Albert Raiders, came through for his country in a game they needed to win to stay in the WJC's top grouping (courtesy of Chapin Landvogt/HF)
For the German squad competing at the 2013 World Junior Championship, the main goal wasn't winning gold but instead simply avoiding relegation to next year's Division 1 WJC. Germany accomplished this goal, barely, defeating Lativa 5-2, marking the first time in 15 years that the Germans stayed in the top group in consecutive tournaments.
Photo: Highly-rated 2013 prospect Aleksander Barkov of Finland has roots in the country that is hosting the 2013 World Junior Championship, Russia (courtesy of Richard Wolowicz/Getty Images)
Team Sweden is sporting the best power-play, coming in at 35.71%, while the USA tops penalty killing units at 88.24%. Interestingly enough, no team has been on the power-play more than Sweden and only Russia has been shorthanded less than the USA.
Photo: Although Edmonton Oilers prospect Nail Yakupov has generated a bit of offense for Russia at the 2013 WJC, he has not been the offensive force he will need to be if Russia is to take the gold medal (courtesy of Terry Wilson/OHL Images)
For hockey fans across the globe, the preliminary round of the 2013 IIHF WJC has been just about everything anyone had ever hoped for. There’s been no lack of tension, rivalries, intrigue and background stories that have come together to make this tournament the type that fans everywhere crave.