We’ve made it to the quarterfinal round and things get much more interesting. It’s win or go home for the eight teams that have made it to the playoff round. Unbeaten runs in group play are nice. However, they don’t mean anything in the elimination round. In our final prediction, we look at the quarter-final matchup that pits Canada vs Switzerland. Team Canada went unbeaten in Group A while the Swiss struggled to qualify for the elimination round. Canada will be the heavy favourite in this game but if history has taught us anything, Switzerland can be a more difficult out than people expect. Will this Swiss team prove to be as stubborn as previous teams?
2022 World Junior Championship Predictions
Canada vs Switzerland
The Canadians have looked like the class of the tournament. They went undefeated in the preliminary round in a rather dominant fashion. Their 27-7 goal differential shows how dominant they have been to this point. Their 27 goals lead the tournament and their 7 goals against are tied for second. Simply put they are excellent in all phases of the game. One slight concern for team Canada could be that they have not had to respond to any adversity so far. Their biggest scare came in the final game of group play against Finland. Canada was in control for the entire game, but Finland scored twice in the third to cut the Canadian’s lead to 5-3. Still, Canada was able to ice the game with an empty net goal to secure the 6-3 win and the top spot in the group.
It seems that Team Canada is on a collision course with their rival Team USA. However, looking ahead to a potential gold medal game is dangerous. Coach Dave Cameron has team Canada focussed so it’s not likely they overlook the Swiss.
Player to watch
Anaheim Ducks prospect Mason McTavish leads the tournament in scoring with seven goals and 13 points in the four preliminary games so far. It’s safe to say he is the driving force of Canada’s offence. He has been a handful for all teams so far and will look to continue his dominant play against the Swiss. If McTavish falters, Canada still has one of the deepest lineups in the tournament. Connor Bedard has been outstanding in his own right scoring three goals and seven points in the preliminary round.
The Swiss are entering the quarter-finals with a 1-0-3 record. Their lone victory came against Latvia, a 3-2 struggle. The Swiss are struggling to score goals at this tournament. They have only scored eight times so far in the tournament. The Swiss are outmatched in this game on paper but have proven to be a stubborn opponent for Canada in the past. Still, they will need something very special to happen to advance past the Canadians.
Player to watch
All eyes will be on Swiss goalie Patenaud Noah. He has not had a particularly strong tournament as his number would show. His 3.01 GAA and .833 GAA are not that good. So why is he a player to watch? Well if the Swiss have any hopes of advancing Noah will need to have the game of his life to keep Switzerland in the game. One-game eliminations can make heroes out of anyone and the Swiss will need their goalie to be their hero in this game. Up front, the Swiss are led by Biasca Attilio. He leads the team with four points and is the only Swiss player with more than one goal to his name (he has two).
On paper, this Canada vs Switzerland quarter-final looks like a cakewalk for Canada. They are better in all phases of the game. Still, funny things can happen in knockout rounds of tournaments. All it takes is one bad game or one other-worldly performance to upset the applecart. Even with the Swiss performing at their absolute best and Canada being sub-par, it is hard to see the Swiss being able to pull off the upset. Canada is too strong and the Swiss have too many issues to really pose a serious threat.
Prediction: Team Canada wins 7-0.
AFTER 2 | Let’s call that the Mason McTavish period … the captain nets a hat trick in the middle frame to put 🇨🇦 up 8-1.
— Hockey Canada (@HockeyCanada) August 11, 2022