The 2022 World Junior Championship quarter-final games are about to begin. The first game of the day features Team Finland vs Team Germany. Team Finland is just coming off a tough loss to Team Canada where the score was 6-3. Team Germany is similarly coming off a loss of 2-4 against Sweden. Both teams will look to bounce back as elimination games begin.
2022 World Junior Championship Predictions
Finland vs Germany
Germany has been able to pick up two wins at this tournament so far over Team Austria and Team Switzerland. However, Finland is much tougher of an opponent than Austria and Switzerland. Team Finland has an incredibly well-rounded roster. Germany will certainly need to come out playing the best hockey of their lives to be able to keep in the game against such a tough opponent.
Finland’s presence here in the quarterfinals surprises nobody. They are a perennial challenger for gold, and this year is no different. The Finnish team has made that apparent with a 2-1-0-1 record through the round-robin of the tournament. Even in their one loss, Finland managed to net three goals against a very good Canadian team. This seems to be Finland’s game to lose.
FINAL | Canada 🇨🇦 6, Finland 🇫🇮 3
— #WorldJuniors (@WorldJuniors) August 16, 2022
Players to Watch
Roni Hirvonen is having a great tournament so far. With two goals and four assists to total six points through four games, his offensive skills have been on display thus far. He continues to be one of Finland’s most effective players and that should not change going into this matchup against Team Germany. He has an excellent skating ability that makes him so effective in the offensive zone. This, in combination with his great handling of the puck, makes him such a threat to the other team.
Aatu Raty is yet another terrifying offensive threat on this Finnish team. With three goals and six assists for nine points through just four games, Raty is having himself a heck of a tournament so far. He currently sits tied for second in the entire 2022 World Junior Championship scoring with fellow countryman Joakim Kemell. Raty is able to make a lot happen with the puck on his stick, to be able to create space and set up teammates for high-danger chances.
Team Germany is having a tournament that is to be expected of them. They’ve beaten the teams they should have beaten and lost to the teams they were projected to lose to. They now face yet another team they should lose to on paper. However, if Germany wants to keep their tournament alive and cause a major upset, they need to come out and dictate the pace of place from the first minute all the way to the sixtieth. It will not be an easy feat against such a tough opponent, but it is not out of the realm of possibility.
Players to Watch
Matchups like this live and die with the underdog teams goaltenders. While Florian Bugl currently has the better numbers of the tournament so far, Nikita Quapp has been the one to face down against Team USA and Team Sweden in the games they have split so far. Whoever Team Germany decides to put in net needs to be ready for an elite top line coming after them.
The team really needs a player to step it up offensively. Alexander Blank is leading the team in points with three goals and an assist in four games. However, all four of those points came in a single game against Team Austria. Team Germany needs another incredible performance from him, or someone else on the German roster to be able to cause this upset.
This is not a game that Finland should be losing. They have the better team through and through, the better record, and the better box scores leading up to this game. Germany may have a slight chance, but it is not a very good chance to bounce this contender.
Prediction: Finland wins 4-1.