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World Juniors 2017: Canada vs. Russia preview, TV schedule, lineups, and game thread

It’s hockey’s most wonderful time of the year!

Gold Medal - 2015 IIHF World Junior Championship Photo by Dennis Pajot/Getty Images

Click here to read the game recap and view the highlights from Canada vs. Russia

The 2016 World Junior Hockey Championship took place in Helsinki Finland, and while both Canada and Russia were aiming for a top three finish, only one of the teams achieved its goal.

Russia won its group with a 3-1-0-0 record, winning all four of their round robin games. They eventually lost to Finland during overtime in the gold medal game by a final score of 4-3, but emerged from the tournament with a hard-earned silver medal. For Canada, however, things didn’t go quite as planned. Not only did they struggle in group play, putting together a paltry 1-1-0-2 record, but they were eliminated by the eventual champions Finland in the quarter final.

This time around Canada will not only be playing for a medal, but for redemption. Their 2016 finish of sixth place was their worst result at the World Junior Hockey Championship since 1998.

Although this year’s edition of Team Canada lacks a certain superstar appeal without elite players like Conor McDavid or Mitch Marner, it does present a great opportunity to execute a strategy encompassing a full-team effort, which may prove more fruitful when it comes to earning a medal rather than depending on individual efforts. Canada only has one gold medal at this tournament since 2010.

Noah Juulsen, Montreal’s 2015 first-round pick, will be patrolling the blue line for Canada this year. He was the last cut from the team in 2016, which provided a motivational factor when it comes to his game play in the WHL this season.

As for Russia, they’re entering the 2016 tournament with a very strong roster, bolstered by the Habs’ 2016 first-round pick Mikhail Sergachev.

The 18-year-old will play a big role with Russia, although he will need to prove that he’s the best defenceman on the roster, despite many Habs fans assuming that’s the case. Sergachev is currently playing the best hockey of his life, and the tournament is a perfect chance to open eyes not only across the NHL, but across the hockey world.

How to watch

Puck drop: 8:00 PM EST / 5:00 PM PST
In Canada: TSN (English), RDS (French)
Streaming: TSNGO

Canada’s projected lineup (subject to change)

Left Wing Centre Right Wing
Left Wing Centre Right Wing
#18 Pierre-Luc Dubois #19 Dylan Strome #27 Mitchell Stephens
#11 Mathieu Joseph #14 Mathew Barzal #16 Taylor Raddysh
#17 Tyson Jost #25 Nicolas Roy #12 Julien Gauthier
#9 Dillon Dubé #22 Anthony Cirelli #21 Blake Speers
#20 Michael McLeod

Left Defence Right Defence
Left Defence Right Defence
#5 Thomas Chabot #6 Philippe Myers
#2 Jake Bean #3 Noah Juulsen
#8 Dante Fabbro #10 Kale Clague
#15 Jeremy Lauzon

#1 Connor Ingram
#31 Carter Hart

Russia’s projected lineup (subject to change)

Left Wing Centre Right Wing
Left Wing Centre Right Wing
Alexandr Polunin Mikhail Vorobyov Kirill Kaprizov
Pavel Karnaukhov Danila Kvartalnov Denis Guryanov
Danil Yurtaikin Denis Alexeyev German Rubtsov
Yakov Trenin Kirill Belyayev Kirill Urakov

Left Defence Right Defence
Left Defence Right Defence
Yegor Rykov Mikhail Sidorov
Mikhail Sergachev Sergey Zborovskiy
Yegor Voronkov Artyom Volkov
Grigoriy Dronov Vadim Kudako

Ilya Samsonov
Vladislav Sukhachyov