The third day of the 2022 World Junior Championship tournament closes out with yet another David and Goliath game. The Swiss face off against the powerhouse United States for both teams’ second game of the summer. The Swiss lost in a nail-biter to Sweden, scoring two goals late in the game to bring it within one goal. The United States enters this game coming off of a commanding win over Germany by a score of 5-1. Switzerland and the United State both come into this game looking to improve on their last performances.
2022 World Junior Championship Predictions
Switzerland vs United States
Once again the United States enters a game with a massive advantage over its opponent. Fresh off of a 5-1 win, the boys in red, white, and blue will have plenty of momentum to play the same against the Swiss. For Switzerland, however, this game is a chance to prove that their late-game heroics are more than just that, having a shot to take on a top dog in the sport. Let’s take a look at each team entering tonight’s matchup.
Despite losing to Sweden, the Swiss proved they can compete at a high level in their first game. Going into this game the game plan has to be different. Sure, Sweden could be considered a powerhouse team. But in comparison to the United States, Sweden is just another roster this summer.
The Swiss’ best chance of making it a close game is to play good, conservative defence against the fast American forward group. Top line blue liners Giancarlo Chanton and Rodwin Dionicio will have to anchor the team from the backend once again. On the forward side, Simon Knack and crew will need to take advantage of every inch of ice they might get from the Americans. Catching them off guard might be hard, but Switzerland’s forwards have the speed and skill to make something happen.
Player to Watch
Despite letting up three goals in game one, goaltender Noah Patenaude is going to be vital to the Swiss this game. The Saint Johns Sea Dogs netminder is solid between the pipes. Last game he saved 26 of the 29 shots that Sweden had on net. For a goalie playing for a team like Switzerland, that’s a good stat to hold. He’ll need to perform similarly to help his team overcome the deficit between them and the United States.
On paper, the United States is, without question, the better team in this matchup. They’ve got the NHL talent and high-end skill to skate circles around the Swiss in this game. For that to happen, they will need to rely on a few things. First, the United States will need to prove they can play at the level they’re expected to. Playing for the United States comes with high expectations, especially in games like these where they’re the clear favourite to win the matchup. Playing up to those standards the team holds themselves to is going to be the determining factor in how close this game will be. There isn’t a need to list the star power on this team, it speaks for itself. If the forwards play to their strengths, and the defence plays to theirs, this game should be another win for the United States.
Your 2022 U.S. National Junior Team 🇺🇸#WorldJuniors pic.twitter.com/UNVokIBerq
— USA Hockey (@usahockey) August 9, 2022
Player to Watch
Sasha Pastujov picked up two helpers in the 5-1 win over Germany in the team’s first game this tournament. The Bradenton, Florida born forward has a strong sense for the ice. He’s able to create space down low at an efficient rate and is always setting up his teammates to be in the right place for a well-timed pass. If he can play how he did against Germany and keep the offence moving efficiently, the United States should have another easy game.
Switzerland isn’t Germany. They’re a little more well-rounded, have a little more overall talent, and have proven they can keep up with the top teams. However, once again, the noticeable gap between them and the United States will be too much for them to overcome. It’ll be a lot closer of a game than the one against Germany, but the United States will come out on top and start off with two wins.
Prediction: United States wins 4-2