World Junior Predictions December 30: Latvia vs Slovakia

MONCTON, NB - DECEMBER 28: Simon Nemec #7 of team Slovakia skates against Charlie Stramel #28 of Team USA during the third period of the 2023 IIHF World Junior Championship at Avenir Centre on December 28, 2022 in Moncton, Canada. (Photo by Dale Preston/Getty Images)

Welcome to our 2023 World Junior Championship predictions. We’ll take an in-depth look at each game taking place in the Canadian Maritimes. These looks will happen for each game until the gold-medal game. We’ll try to give you the information you need to get an edge. We take a look at the Group B matchup between Team Latvia and Team Slovakia. Be sure to check out the other games for today.

2023 World Junior Championship Predictions

Latvia vs Slovakia

Both teams are looking to make a jump up in the rankings in group b, as both teams currently sit near the bottom with 3 and 1 point respectively in the standings. Heading into this game, both teams are coming off losses and need a win to stay alive in the tournament.

Team Latvia

Although Latvia has played really well in this tournament, they are still in a lot of trouble as the new year quickly approaches. Right now they are 0-2-1, having yet to record a win. Although, this is their chance to finally get that elusive win that they have been fighting for.

So far, Latvia’s top points scorer is Gustavs Ozolins with 3 assists. Their top goal scorer in the tournament is currently multiple people, who all have one goal so far. Latvia has been a tough team to play against so far, although they let the games slip away from them, which ultimately causes their downfall. If Latvia can have a consistently solid 3rd period, they may actually get a win tonight.

Team Slovakia

Although Slovakia had such a key win versus the states, there hasn’t been anything for them to celebrate about as of late. Currently, the team sits right above Latvia in their group, with a 1-1-0 record. Their current points leader is Peter Repcik, who has 3 goals and 1 assist for 4 points so far. Even though Slovakia hasn’t had the greatest tournament so far, they are getting one of their first easier games of the tournament, not going up against a contender as they have been for the past 2 games.

Summary and Prediction

Overall, this should be one of the more interesting games of the tournament, considering that these two teams are fighting to not be last in group B.

With a Latvia regulation win, they will tie Slovakia. Although Slovakia does have a game in hand, their next match may put a wrench into Latvia’s hands. A Slovakian win will further distance them from Latvia, securing them the last-place spot in group B. Although, with Latvia’s determination and play so far in the tournament against teams like the United States, Latvia could actually manage to pull the win off and secure themselves the win they need to keep going.

All things considered, this game should be one of the better thrillers in the tournament, as it’s two teams fighting against relegation.

Prediction: Latvia wins 3-2 in OT

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