While the NHL and the players’ association continue to exchange proposals in an effort to resolve their labor dispute and start a 48-game season by the league’s Jan. 19 deadline, the world junior championships are winding toward a dramatic conclusion in Ufa, Russia.
Team USA, which routed the Czech Republic, 7-0, in a quarterfinal game played early Wednesday morning Pacific time, will face Canada in a semifinal Thursday. The game will start at 1 a.m. Pacific time and will air on the NHL Network and stream live on Nhl.com.
In the other semifinal to be played Thursday, Sweden will face Russia, which needed a shootout to win its quarterfinal match against tenacious Switzerland, 5-4. The two semifinal winners will play for gold Saturday.
The U.S. lost a preliminary-round game to Canada, 2-1, and had to beat Slovakia in its preliminary finale to remain in contention for a medal. The U.S. then dominated the Czechs on the strength of five power-play goals and a short-handed goal. Johnny Gaudreau of Boston College, a Calgary Flames prospect, had the hat trick in the victory.