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World Junior’s: Canada Prepares for Battle

by: AnthonyP On  Monday, January 5, 2009

John TavaresTotal Pro Sports – Canadian world juniors prepare for battle tonight against the mighty Swedes.  Canada looks to win their 5th straight World Junior Gold Medal. Canada and Sweden played in last years championship with Canada pulling out a 3-2 victory in overtime.

This year, the Swedes were considered pre tournament favourites by many hockey experts.  These same experts expected Canada to finish second to Sweden.

Team Sweden are very confident coming in to tonight’s game, especially forward Magnus Svensson Paajarvi who told reporters that Canada would be in trouble if Sweden scored two quick goals. He explained that his comments do not mean the same thing in English as they do in Swedish, but he stood by his remarks.

“It is not impossible to beat them,” Paajarvi explained. “If we face them in the final again, we will beat them.”

Even though Sweden is so confident, recent history does not favour Sweden. Canada has won seven of the last eight meetings between the two sides, and their only loss over that span came in the Preliminary Round of the 2008 tournament when Sweden defeated them 4-3.

Canada has beaten Sweden in the last two gold medal games they have played at the World Junior Championship in 1996 and 2008.  The Swedes have never won a major international tournament on Canadian soil.

Even though all of these facts support Canada in winning their 6th straight gold medal at the World Juniors, Sweden’s current team posses a serious threat to Canada’s Gold Medal winning streak.

Tonight’s Goalie Matchup – Canada will start Dustin Tokarski and Sweden will counter with Jacob Markstrom. Tokarski hasent looked great in goal for Canada but has come up huge when the game is on the line, while Markstrom has looked great all tourney.

Tonight will also showcase the predicted 1st and 2nd overall picks, John Tavares and Victor Hedman.  Many believe that Tavares will go first overall while others believe that this game will determine who goes first.

We believe that Canada will win (4-2) a close game.

GO CANADA GO!




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