The 2024 IIHF World Junior Championship quarterfinals are upon us, and the spotlight shines brightly on the matchup between the powerhouse USA U20 team and the gritty Latvia U20 squad. Puck drop is set for 11:00 AM ET on Tuesday, January 2nd, 2024, at Frölundaborgs isstadion in Gothenburg, Sweden.
How to Watch USA U20 vs Latvia U20
- What it is: 2024 IIHF World Junior Championship
- Matchup: USA U20 vs. Latvia U20
- Game type: Quarterfinal
- Date: Tuesday Jan. 2, 2024
- Time: 11:00 a.m. ET, 17:00 (Local Time)
- Venue: Frölundaborgs isstadion (Gothenburg)
- Broadcast: NHL Network, TSN and TSN+
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Tale of the Tape
The Americans enter the quarterfinals as the No. 1 seed in Group B, boasting a perfect 4-0 record in the preliminary round. Their offensive prowess has been on full display, averaging a staggering 8.8 goals per game. Leading the charge are Logan Cooley with 10 points (4 goals, 6 assists) and Dylan Holloway with 8 points (5 goals, 3 assists). The team’s defense has been equally impressive, allowing only 5 goals in the group stage.
Latvia, on the other hand, scraped into the quarterfinals with a 1-3 record in Group A. Their lone victory came against Germany in the final game of the preliminary round, a much-needed 2-1 triumph that secured their spot in the knockout stage. Despite their struggles, the Latvians have shown flashes of brilliance, particularly in their narrow 1-0 defeat to tournament favorites Canada.
The two teams have faced each other three times in the past two World Junior Championships, with the USA emerging victorious on all three occasions. The most recent encounter was a close 2-1 affair in the 2023 quarterfinals, but the Americans dominated their previous two meetings, winning 6-1 in 2022 and 12-2 in 2012.
What to Watch For
- Can Latvia spring an upset? The Latvians are undoubtedly underdogs in this matchup, but they have proven they can play with the best teams in the world. If they can capitalize on their scoring chances and tighten up their defense, they have a chance to pull off a major upset.
- Will the USA continue their offensive onslaught? The Americans have been a scoring machine throughout the tournament, and they will be looking to keep their foot on the gas against Latvia. Their depth of talent and offensive firepower make them a formidable opponent for any team.
- Goaltending battle takes center stage: Both teams have relied heavily on their goaltenders to reach the quarterfinals. Drew Commesso for the USA and Patriks Berzins for Latvia have been outstanding, and their performances could be the difference between victory and defeat.
While Latvia should not be underestimated, the USA’s superior talent and offensive firepower make them the clear favorites in this matchup. Look for the Americans to win convincingly and advance to the semifinals, where they will likely face a much tougher challenge.
No matter the outcome, this quarterfinal clash promises to be an exciting one. Tune in on Tuesday, January 2nd, to see who emerges victorious and takes one step closer to the coveted World Junior Championship title.