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 quarterfinal matchup between Team USA and Team Germany. Be sure to check out the other games for today.
2023 World Junior Championship Predictions
USA vs Germany
The Americans came thundering back from a shocking loss to Slovakia with two straight wins to win Group B. Team USA defeated Switzerland and pulled away from Finland to avoid Canada, Sweden and Czechia in the quarterfinals. The United States wants to avoid another shocking quarterfinal exit like it did to the Czech Republic in the last tournament. Winning here would give the Americans a chance to play for a medal in the quarters against the second-lowest seeded team provided Czechia wins its quarterfinal game.
The Germans only beat relegation-threatened Austria in Group A to make the quarterfinal. Germany has been making strides in the last few tournaments, but faces a daunting task. An upset of Team USA will assure Germany its best finish at a World Juniors by giving it at least a fourth-place showing. It’s best finish was in 1991 when it ended up in fifth spot.
The Americans cleaned up the defensive errors in the Slovakia loss and looked better at both ends of the ice. Jimmy Snuggerud and Logan Cooley both have seven points to lead the Stars and Stripes so far. Captain Luke Hughes and Sean Beherns power the American blueliners as Hughes has three goals so far this tournament. Kaidan Mbereko will likely get the start in net for Coach Rand Pecknold’s team.
The quarterfinals have been a tough hurdle have been a surprising hurdle for both the U20 and Olympic teams in the last two tournaments. Team USA doesn’t want throw away a great group stage with a surprising loss in the final eight. The Americans will want try and put the game out of reach early in this one.
Germany’s penalty kill is 10th in the tournament and faces and tough assignment in stopping a top-three American power play. Philipp Krening has three points so far in the tournament as well as defenceman Philpp Sinn. Carolina Hurricanes draft pick Nikita Quapp has the only win in goal and will likely draw the start against the high-powered U.S. attack. Quapp has handled himself in games where he’s faced a high volume of shots, but it’s a tall order to keep the Americans at bay.
The United States is the favourite, but it won’t overlook Germany after what happened at last year’s tournament with Czechia. USA wants a medal of some sort and winning here assures it of at least a berth in the bronze medal game. The Americans will want to get out to an early lead and snuff out any chance of the Germans hanging around in the game.
Quapp or whatever German goalie gets the call has to be on their best game. An early goal for Germany would go a long way into giving it confidence and make the United States sweat a little. However, the Americans have too many weapons and should book a spot in the semifinals. If seeding form holds, the North America rivalry of USA versus Canada could be set for the semifinal round with a spot in the gold-medal game on the line.
Predictions: Team USA wins 5-1.
Be sure to check out our other World Junior Championship predictions for today’s quarterfinal games.