Photo: Team Russia forward Yevgeni Svechnikov (L), shown here competing at last year’s U18 tournament, has been the top offensive player for Russia at the 2014 U18 World Championship (courtesy of ALEXANDER NEMENOV/AFP/Getty Images)
The preliminary round of the 2014 IIHF U18 World Championship is over and the playoff match-ups are set. Despite the odd surprise performances to start off the tournament, the teams have finished off group play in a manner conducive with most expectations coming in. Take a look at who’s up against whom in the playoffs and who you should expect to move on to the next round.
Photo: Kamloops Blazers defenseman and 2014 prospect Edson Harlacher spent the past three seasons in the Kloten organization before heading to North America for the 2013-14 season (courtesy of Marissa Baecker/Getty Images)
Switzerland notched an early, surprise win at the 2014 IIHF U18 World Championship but wasn't able to fully capitalize on their upset win over the USA. As a result, they will open the U18 playoff round against the defending gold medalists from Canada.
Photo: HC Davos defenseman Simon Kindschi is one of a handful of sizable defenders competing for Switzerland at the 2014 U18 World Championship in Finland (courtesy of Chapin Landvogt/HF)
It didn't take long for a surprise win to take place at the 2014 U18 World Championship as Switzerland knocked off the USA, 4-2, in the opening game of the tournament.
Photo: HV71 forward and 2014 prospect Kevin Fiala (#23) is expected to lead the offense for Switzerland at the 2014 U18 World Championship (courtesy of BJORN LINDGREN/AFP/Getty Images)
After meeting expectations at last year's IIHF U18 World Championship with solid play and qualifying for the quarterfinals for the first time in two years, Switzerland is looking to have the same success this season and is hoping to finally move up among the top 4 countries.
Photo: Halifax Mooseheads goaltender and Montreal Canadiens prospect Zach Fucale took over in goal for Canada in the third game of the 2014 WJC, and helped the team land a top seed for the playoff round (courtesy of Rick Madonik/Toronto Star via Getty Images)
After suffering an upset loss in the second game of the preliminary round at the 2014 World Junior Championship, Team Canada won the final two games of that round to take the top seeding in Group A. That top seeding has led the team to a date in the quarterfinals with Switzerland.