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World Juniors 2017: Czech Republic vs. Sweden, Switzerland vs. Finland, Slovakia vs. Russia previews, start times, TV schedule, & lineups

The preliminary round wraps up today, with quarter-final positioning on the line.

Canada v Russia - 2017 IIHF World Junior Championship

1:00 PM EST Czech Republic vs. Sweden (TSN3, TSN5)

Sweden has clinched the top spot in Group A with a full complement of nine points from its first three games, and places a 39-game preliminary-round winning streak on the line in an otherwise meaningless game for the country.

Czech Republic has a lot to gain from their final contest, as they can finish as high as second in the group with a win, or as low as fourth. They will get an easier opponent in the quarter-finals if they can manage to move up the board.

You can expect to see a lot of Filip Chlapik and Jakub Zboril as the Czechs attempt to pull off a massive upset.

Team Czech Republic projected lines

Left Wing Centre Right Wing
Left Wing Centre Right Wing
#18 Michael Špaček #16 Daniel Kurovsky #22 David Kase
#14 Filip Chlapík #21 Radek Koblížek #17 Lukáš Jašek
#8 Martin Nečas #23 Šimon Stránský #26 Adam Musil
#15 Tomáš Šoustal #24 Filip Suchý #25 Kristian Reichel

Left Defence Right Defence
Left Defence Right Defence
#12 František Hrdinka #29 Filip Hronek
#20 Jakub Zbořil #28 Petr Kalina
#3 Daniel Krenželok #6 Ondřej Vála

Goaltenders
Goaltenders
#30 Daniel Vladař
#2 Jakub Škarek

Team Sweden projected lines

Left Wing Centre Right Wing
Left Wing Centre Right Wing
#14 Elias Pettersson #15 Lias Andersson #16 Carl Grundström
#18 Rasmus Asplund #24 Jens Lööke #27 Jonathan Dahlen
#17 Fredrik Karlström #20 Joel Eriksson-Ek #19 Alexander Nylander
#25 Sebastian Ohlsson #28 Andreas Wingerli #11 Filip Ahl
#29 Tim Söderlund

Left Defence Right Defence
Left Defence Right Defence
#7 Oliver Kyllington #9 Gabriel Carlsson
#4 Jacob Larsson #6 Kristoffer Gunnarsson
#5 David Bernhardt #23 Lucas Carlsson
#8 Rasmus Dahlin

Goaltenders
Goaltenders
#1 Felix Sandström
#30 Filip Gustavsson

5:30 PM EST Switzerland vs. Finland (TSN3, TSN4, TSN5)

Had Denmark been able to hold onto a 3-0 lead they exploded out to in yesterday’s match against Switzerland, this matchup would have been a do-or-die- affair for both sides. Instead, Finland has already been eliminated from medal contention, so the final game in Group A won’t be nearly as exciting as it could have been. However, it won’t be without its entertainment value.

One thing to watch for is how Finland will repond to the surprising firing of the entire coaching staff immediately following yesterday’s DEN/SUI decision, and the installation of Jusse Ahokas as the new head coach. They don’t have much time to find their game before the relegation round begins on Monday, so you can expect a vocal, hands-on approach from the bench boss.

The game isn’t completely meaningless for Switzerland. Currently sitting in fourth place and facing the prospect of having to play either Canada or the United States in the quarter-finals, the Swiss club can move up to as high as second by keeping Finland winless in the preliminary round.

His one-game suspension served, Switzerland will have the services of captain Calvin Thürkauf to help them toward that goal.

Team Switzerland projected lines

Left Wing Centre Right Wing
Left Wing Centre Right Wing
#9 Damien Riat #12 Calvin Thürkauf #15 Nathan Marchon
#16 Loic In Albon #18 Nico Hischier #23 Dominik Diem
#11 Marco Miranda #17 Raphael Prassl #22 Nando Eggenberger
#19 Yannick Zehnder #21 Fabian Haberstich #26 Timo Haussener
#8 Jerome Portmann

Left Defence Right Defence
Left Defence Right Defence
#4 Roger Karrer #25 Jonas Siegenthaler
#2 Yanick Burren #10 Serge Weber
#7 Nico Gross #24 Colin Gerber
#5 Livio Stadler

Goaltenders
Goaltenders
#30 Joren van Pottelberghe
#1 Matteo Ritz

Team Finland projected lines

Left Wing Centre Right Wing
Left Wing Centre Right Wing
#35 Otto Koivula #25 Julius Nättinen #22 Arttu Ruotsalainen
#33 Eeli Tolvanen #32 Aapeli Räsänen #34 Kristian Vesalainen
#10 Kasper Björkqvist #20 Julius Mattila #21 Joona Luoto
#13 Henrik Borgström #9 Janne Kuokkanen #15 Petrus Palmu
#27 Teemu Väyrynen

Left Defence Right Defence
Left Defence Right Defence
#18 Vili Saarijärvi #12 Juuso Välimäki
#7 Olli Juolevi #2 Miro Heiskanen
#3 Urho Vaakanainen #28 Jesper Mattila
#6 Juho Rautanen

Goaltenders
Goaltenders
#31 Veini Vehviläinen
#30 Karolus Kaarlehto

8:00 PM EST Slovakia vs. Russia (TSN1, TSN3, TSN4, TSN5)

A massive victory over Latvia last night means that Slovakia is assured of a spot in the quarter-finals and gets to keep a place in the Top Division for at least another year.

Though Latvia scored first, the Slovaks maintained their composure and scored the next four goals of the contest, holding on for a 4-2 win.

If they want to move up in the group, they will have to perform the difficult task of beating Russia. Currently tied with that club in points, with three, a win of any variety will accomplish that lofty goal and move Slovakia to third. While a spot in the quarter-finals is a major feat in and of itself for the Slovakian squad, an upset of a perennial gold-medal contender would do wonders for their quarter-final chances.

With two near misses versus Canada and USA so far, Russia probably deserves better than just the three points recorded thus far, and will prove a major adversary for the Slovaks.

Team Slovakia projected lines

Left Wing Centre Right Wing
Left Wing Centre Right Wing
#8 Marek Hecl #18 Boris Sádecký #22 Oliver Pataky
#23 Martin Andrisik #29 Patrik Osko #25 Miroslav Struska
#11 Radovan Bondra #20 Adam Ruzicka #27 Filip Lestan
#12 Marian Studenic #15 Marek Sloboda #26 Milos Roman

Left Defence Right Defence
Left Defence Right Defence
#14 Erik Cernak #6 Martin Fehérváry
#5 Michal Roman #16 Andrej Hatala
#3 Martin Bodak #17 Mario Grman
#4 Oliver Kosecky #7 Samuel Hain

Goaltenders
Goaltenders
#30 Adam Huska
#2 Matej Tomek

Team Russia projected lines

Left Wing Centre Right Wing
Left Wing Centre Right Wing
#10 Alexander Polunin #24 Mikhail Vorobyov #7 Kirill Kaprizov
#19 Pavel Karnaukhov #9 Danila Kvartalnov #27 Denis Guryanov
#25 Yakov Trenin #8 Kirill Urakov #17 German Rubtsov
#21 Denis Alexeyev #14 Kirill Belyayev #22 Danil Yurtaikin

Left Defence Right Defence
Left Defence Right Defence
#28 Yegor Rykov #3 Mikhail Sidorov
#26 Mikhail Sergachev #2 Vadim Kudako
#15 Yegor Voronkov #6 Sergey Zborovskiy
#23 Grigoriy Dronov

Goaltenders
Goaltenders
#30 Ilya Samsonov
#20 Vladislav Sukhachyov