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.
Photo: German defender Stephen Kronthaler is captaining a squad that is hoping to avoid relegation to the WJC's Division 1, Group A level (courtesy of Chapin Landvogt/HF)
Being named captain of any squad is never a bad thing as it usually is considered an honor to be that highly valued by both coaches and peers. But it would be especially good for German captain Stephen Kronthaler if he were to captain Germany to another appearance at the top level of the World Junior Championship in 2014.