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2023 World Junior Hockey Championship: Full tournament schedule

All the games that will be played during the tournament that runs from December 26 to January 5.

Canada v Finland: Gold Medal Game - 2022 IIHF World Junior Championship Photo by Andy Devlin/ Getty Images

It’s the third consecutive year that the IIHF’s World Junior Championship will be hosted in Canada. After two tournaments (and one false start) in Edmonton, the event has moved east, with Moncton and Halifax serving as host cities.

As we saw in this summer’s NHL Draft, the player crop from the 2004 birth year isn’t as strong as we’ve seen in previous iterations, and that trickle down will be seen at this tournament with few teams loaded from top to bottom with high-end talent. Many nations have had to dig a little deeper into their development systems to find enough players, and that means that depth of talent may be the deciding factor in who heads home with the gold medal. We could be in for a few upsets over the short duration of the WJC, which is scheduled to go like this:

Preliminary round

The first phase involves two groups of five teams playing a round robin to decide positioning for the playoff portion. Eight teams make it to the quarter-finals, while the bottom team from each group gets set to play each other in a relegation series.

December 26, 2022

12:00 PM AST / 11:00 AM EST: Finland vs. Switzerland
2:30 PM AST / 1:30 PM EST: Sweden vs. Austria
5:00 PM AST / 4:00 PM EST: Latvia vs. United States
7:30 PM AST / 6:30 PM EST: Czechia vs. Canada

December 27, 2022

12:00 PM AST / 11:00 AM EST: Finland vs. Slovakia
2:30 PM AST / 1:30 PM EST: Germany vs. Sweden
5:00 PM AST / 4:00 PM EST: Switzerland vs. Latvia
7:30 PM AST / 6:30 PM EST: Austria vs. Czechia

December 28, 2022

5:00 PM AST / 4:00 PM EST: Slovakia vs. United States
7:30 PM AST / 6:30 PM EST: Canada vs. Germany

December 29, 2022

12:00 PM AST / 11:00 AM EST: Latvia vs. Finland
2:30 PM AST / 1:30 PM EST: Sweden vs. Czechia
5:00 PM AST / 4:00 PM EST: United States vs. Switzerland
7:30 PM AST / 6:30 PM EST: Austria vs. Canada

December 30, 2022

12:00 PM AST / 11:00 AM EST: Slovakia vs. Latvia
5:30 PM AST / 4:30 PM EST: Germany vs. Austria

December 31, 2022

12:00 PM AST / 11:00 AM EST: Switzerland vs. Slovakia
2:30 PM AST / 1:30 PM EST: Czechia vs. Germany
5:00 PM AST / 4:00 PM EST: United States vs. Finland
7:30 PM AST / 6:30 PM EST: Canada vs. Sweden

Grid schedule (EST)

Team Dec 26 Dec 27 Dec 28 Dec 29 Dec 30 Dec 31
Team Dec 26 Dec 27 Dec 28 Dec 29 Dec 30 Dec 31
AUT SWE (13:30) CZE (18:30) CAN (18:30) GER (16:30)
CAN CZE (18:30) GER (18:30) AUT (18:30) SWE (18:30)
CZE CAN (18:30) AUT (18:30) SWE (13:30) GER (13:30)
FIN SUI (11:00) SVK (11:00) LAT (11:00) USA (16:00)
GER SWE (13:30) CAN (18:30) AUT (16:30) CZE (13:30)
LAT USA (16:00) SUI (16:00) FIN (11:00) SVK (11:00)
SUI FIN (11:00) LAT (16:00) USA (16:00) SVK (11:00)
SVK FIN (11:00) USA (16:00) LAT (11:00) SUI (11:00)
SWE AUT (13:30) GER (13:30) CZE (13:30) CAN (18:30)
USA LAT (16:00) SVK (16:00) SUI (16:00) FIN (16:00)

Playoff round

The top seed from Group A plays the fourth seed from Group B, the second seed of Group A the third seed from Group B, and so on. These are all single-elimination games, with the losers’ tournament coming to an end, and the winners moving on.

January 2, 2023

12:00 PM AST / 11:00 AM EST: Quarter-final 1
2:30 PM AST / 1:30 PM EST: Quarter-final 2
5:00 PM AST / 4:00 PM EST: Quarter-final 3
7:30 PM AST / 6:30 PM EST: Quarter-final 4 (reserved for Canada)

January 4, 2023

3:30 PM AST / 2:30 PM EST: Semifinal 1
7:30 PM AST / 6:30 PM EST: Semifinal 2 (reserved for Canada)

January 5, 2023

3:30 PM AST / 2:30 PM EST: Bronze Medal Game
7:30 PM AST / 6:30 PM EST: Gold Medal Game

Relegation series

For the first time since the pandemic began, there will be a relegation round in 2023. One team will get demoted from the Top Division to make room for the recent Division IA champions, Norway.

The relegation series is a best-of-three pitting the bottom teams from each group against each other. The winner hangs around in the Top Division for another year, the loser gets relegated to Division IA and plays in the IIHF’s second-tier tournament next year.

January 2, 2023 (10:30 AM AST, 9:30 AM EST): A5 vs. B5
January 3, 2023 (12:00 PM AST, 11:00 AM EST): B5 vs. A5
January 5, 2023 (12:00 PM AST, 11:00 AM EST): A5 vs. B5 (if necessary)