Finland state

WORLD JUNIOR NOTES: Early start for Finland and Germany; difficult latvia

With all four quarter-final matches scheduled for Wednesday, Finland and Germany won the 10 a.m. time slot, allowing players and coaches to get up and get up early.

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It was a wake-up call for Finland and Germany at the 2022 World Junior Hockey Championship at Rogers Place on Wednesday.

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With all four quarter-final matches scheduled to be played on the same day, Finland and Germany won the 10 a.m. time slot, allowing players and coaches to get up and get up early.

“It was maybe five or six years ago when I played this early,” said 19-year-old German striker Bennet Rossmy, who scored twice in a 5-2 loss to Finland . “It’s hard, but it was the same for them too.

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“I like to come to the locker room quite early and I went to bed at 8 p.m. last night. Then I got up at 6 a.m., had breakfast, walked to the rink to tape my poles and get ready.

Most players had to go back to their minor hockey days to remember the last time they played a game this early. In the preliminary round, the early start time was noon, but with an extra playoff game on Wednesday, the schedule had to be extended.

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Following the Finland-Germany encounter, Sweden and Latvia dropped the puck in the quarterfinals just after 1:30 p.m.; Canada and Switzerland were scheduled for 5 p.m., while the United States and Czechia closed the day with an 8:30 p.m. start time.

“It was pretty tough, we woke up at 5.15am and then went to the gym to get our bodies moving,” said Finnish striker Roby Jarventie, who had two goals and two assists in the win. “The first half was a bit difficult, but after that I felt good.”

The main thing for the players was to have a good meal early in the morning in order to have energy for the competition.

“We were well prepared for the game, even though it was early in the morning,” Finnish coach Antti Pennanen said. “The kids were eating pasta at 8 a.m. and it was the first time they had eaten pasta for breakfast.”

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LOOKING TO REMATCH

By winning its quarter-final, Finland was aiming for a rematch against Canada in Friday’s semi-final.

Barring a major upset in the other three quarter-finals, Sweden, Canada and the United States had to go through, and the teams would be reseeded for the next round of the tournament.

Canada would be ranked first in goal difference in the preliminary round, the United States second, Sweden third and Finland fourth.

Finland lost 6-3 to Canada in their last Group A game, setting up their quarter-final game against Germany on Wednesday.

“Obviously they have a very good team and it’s a tough team to play against,” Jarventie said. “But I think when we play our best we can fight against them. We had our moments against them, but they were better last time, and hopefully we get the chance to play them.

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Finland entered the tournament as gold medal contenders. They have improved since the start of the tournament and their power play is among the best of any team.

Finland scored four power-play goals in the win over Germany to advance to the semi-finals.

“We’re excited to play them again,” Pennanen said. “We know we are going to be the underdogs and the pressure will be on Canada’s shoulders. But our players say they are confident they can beat Canada, so we’ll see how it goes. They learned a lot when they played against them in the first game.

LATVIAN PRIDE

For a team brought in as a substitute at the 10-team tournament, Latvia turned heads with their performance at the World Junior Championship.

On Wednesday, Latvia gave Sweden all they could handle in a 2-1 quarter-final defeat.

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Sweden captain Emil Andrae scored the game-winning goal midway through the third period with a direct shot into traffic.

“I think we gave it our all and maybe with a bit of luck we could have won this game,” said Latvian goalkeeper Bruno Bruveris. “We came here and everyone was laughing at us and we wanted to show what we could do, and I think we did.”

Latvia was added to the tournament after Russia was expelled due to the invasion of Ukraine.

Latvia came in and did well, pushing past Canada and Slovakia before beating Czechia in their final round-robin game.

The win over Czechia ended a 0-27 losing streak in the preliminary round and put Latvia through to the quarter-finals for the first time in their history.

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“I think we played well, but if we could have done a bit more, we could have written even more stories,” said Latvian captain Ralfs Bergmanis. “I think we surprised some people, but that was our plan, to make the quarter-finals. I think we could have gone to the semi-finals too.

“We played hard and we can be proud of that, but it’s disappointing that we couldn’t win that game, but that’s hockey.

Latvia were supported by their traveling supporters, who made as much noise as possible through all of their matches.

“Our fans are the best fans in the world,” Bruveris said. “They were our team’s sixth player on the ice and they helped us a lot.

Email: [email protected]

On Twitter: @DerekVanDiest

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