World Juniors in Edmonton to begin on Christmas Day (SCHEDULE)

Oct 20 2020, 12:34 am

For the first time since 2005, the World Junior Hockey Championship will begin on Christmas Day.

The annual tournament is taking place in Edmonton this year, without fans in attendance, as organizers are utilizing the sameĀ plan that was so successful for the NHL’s return to the ice this summer. All 10 countries competing in the tournament will operate in a “competition bubble” in the Edmonton Ice District, with games being played at Rogers Place, the home of the Edmonton Oilers.

Team Canada won’t begin play until Boxing Day, as they compete in Group A against Finland, Germany, Slovakia, and Switzerland. USA, Russia, Sweden, the Czech Republic, and Austria will compete in Group B.

ā€œA tremendous amount of planning has been underway for almost two years and announcing the schedule signifies how close we are to puck drop,ā€ said, Riley Wiwchar, executive director of the 2021 IIHF World Junior Championship. ā€œAfter announcing the return of the tournament last month, there is a feeling, even knowing there wonā€™t be fans in the building, of excitement and anticipation across the province and extending across the country as fans get set to cheer on the future stars of the game.ā€

There will be extra focus on the World Juniors this year, as the NHL isn’t expected to begin play until January. That should also allow most, if not all, top players to be made available for the tournament. In a normal year, first overall draft pick Alexis Lafreniere would be unavailable for the tournament, but perhaps the New York Rangers allow him to represent Team Canada this year.

The tournament runs from December 25 to January 5, with 10 pre-tournament games taking place December 20-23. Canada’s pre-tournament games are against Sweden and Russia.

Pre-tournament games

Date Time (ET) Game
Sun, Dec 20 6:00 PM SUI vs USA
Sun, Dec 20 9:30 PM CZE vs FIN
Mon, Dec 21 2:00 PM GER vs AUT
Mon, Dec 21 6:00 PM SWE vs CAN
Mon, Dec 21 9:30 PM SVK vs RUS
Tue, Dec 22 6:00 PM FIN vs USA
Tue, Dec 22 9:30 PM SUI vs SWE
Wed, Dec 23 2:00 PM SVK vs AUT
Wed, Dec 23 6:00 PM CAN vs RUS
Wed, Dec 23 9:30 PM CZE vs GER

Tournament schedule

Date Time (ET) Game
Fri, Dec 25 2:00 PM SUI vs SVK
Fri, Dec 25 6:00 PM GER vs FIN
Fri, Dec 25 9:30 PM RUS vs USA
Sat, Dec 26 2:00 PM SWE vs CZE
Sat, Dec 26 6:00 PM GER vs CAN
Sat, Dec 26 9:30 PM USA vs AUT
Sun, Dec 27 2:00 PM FIN vs SUI
Sun, Dec 27 6:00 PM SVK vs CAN
Sun, Dec 27 9:30 PM CZE vs RUS
Mon, Dec 28 6:00 PM AUT vs SWE
Mon, Dec 28 9:30 PM SVK vs GER
Tue, Dec 29 2:00 PM USA vs CZE
Tue, Dec 29 6:00 PM CAN vs SUI
Tue, Dec 29 9:30 PM AUT vs RUS
Wed, Dec 30 2:00 PM FIN vs SVK
Wed, Dec 30 6:00 PM SUI vs GER
Wed, Dec 30 9:30 PM RUS vs SWE
Thu, Dec 31 2:00 PM CZE vs AUT
Thu, Dec 31 6:00 PM CAN vs FIN
Thu, Dec 31 9:30 PM SWE vs USA
Sat, Jan 2 12:00 PM Quarter-finals
Sat, Jan 2 3:30 PM Quarter-finals
Sat, Jan 2 7:00 PM Quarter-finals
Sat, Jan 2 10:30 PM Quarter-finals
Sun, Jan 3 6:00 PM Semi-finals
Sun, Jan 3 9:30 PM Semi-finals
Tue, Jan 5 5:30 PM Bronze
Tue, Jan 5 9:30 PM Gold
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