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World Juniors 2016: Sweden vs. Canada preview, schedule and game thread

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The final group-stage game pits Team Canada against Team Sweden, with Canada's positioning in the quarter-finals on the line.

Richard Wolowicz/Getty Images

The last game of the tournament's group stage has last year's gold medalists, Team Canada, taking on fourth-place finishers Sweden. The two teams met during the exhibition games where Canada gave up a healthy lead and just hung on to beat Sweden in a 7-6 game.

To kick off the tournament, Canada faced Team USA on Boxing Day, a matchup usually reserved for New Year's Eve. Canada tried to get a little too fancy and ended up falling to the U.S. 4-2.

During practice on the following day, coach Dave Lowry shifted his lines putting left winger Brendan Perlini to the top line alongside center Dylan Strome and right wing Mitchell Marner; a plan that seemed to have worked better than he thought. During the following game against Denmark, both Strome and Marner had a goal and assist apiece. Canada outshot Denmark 58-11 and crushed them with a 6-1 win, with six different players stepping up to score.

It was a tight game against Switzerland that brought us all the way to a shootout. Thanks to Brayden Point and Mathew Barzal and their backhand shots, Canada beat the Swiss 3-2.

Even though Sweden lost to Canada during the pre-tournament rounds, they seem to have found their groove.

Sweden figuratively clobbered Team Switzerland during their WJC opener, emerging with an 8-3 victory, although the Swiss were the ones doing the literal clobbering, taking out Adrian Kempe and William Nylander, the Toronto Maple Leafs' top prospect, with dangerous hits.

Nylander wasn't able to return to face the U.S., though the team still managed a 1-0 shutout victory over the Americans with their best player out. Stepping up for the team was his brother, Alex Nylander, who scored the only goal needed for the win while Linus Soderstrom made 46 saves for the shutout. This was the first time Sweden beat the U.S in the World Juniors since 1996.

In their final game before facing Canada, Sweden blanked Denmark, 5-0 and clinched Group A. It was goaltender Felix Sandstrom's first game of the tournament and was a pretty easy start, seeing only nine shots, all turned aside.

Sweden sits atop the standings with nine points, while Canada sits in third with five. With such a close call during the exhibition round, and both teams playing to win, it looks like this could be one of the best face-offs of the tournament.

You can watch the game on TSN1, TSN3, TSN4, TSN5, RDS, or streaming on TSN GO. You can listen to the game on the TSN radio network.

Puck drop is at 1:00 PM EST / 10:00 AM PST.
Team Canada Projected Lineup
Left Wing Center Right Wing
Brendan Perlini Dylan Strome Mitchell Marner
John Quenneville Matthew Barzal Jake Virtanen
Rourke Chartier Brayden Point (C) Anthony Beauvillier
Lawson Crouse (A) Mitchell Stephens Travis Konecny
Julien Gauthier
Left Defense Right Defense
Thomas Chabot
Joe Hicketts (A)
Haydn Fleury Brandon Hickey
Travis Sanheim Travis Dermott
Roland McKeown
Goaltenders
Mason McDonald
MacKenzie Blackwood
Team Sweden Projected Lineup
Left Wing Center Right Wing
Oskar Lindblom Axel Holmstrom Adrian Kempe
Rasmus Asplund Jakob Forsbacka Karlsson Alex Nylander
Carl Grundstrom Joel Eriksson Ek Dmytro Timashov
Anton Karlsson Christoffer Ehn Jens Looke
Left Defense Right Defense
William Lagesson Andreas Englund
Gabriel Carlsson Jacob Larsson
Marcus Pettersson Gustav Forsling
Adam Mattsson
Goaltenders
Linus Soderstrom
Felix Sandstrom