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WJC: Welcome to the Quarters

by Mike Sundheim @MikeSundheim / CarolinaHurricanes.com

Now the pressure mounts. 

Round-robin play wrapped up on New Year's Eve, as the United States took down the host Canadians to take the top seed out of Group B.

Hurricanes 2015 fourth-round selection Nicolas Roy was fourth among Canadian forwards in ice time for the game, firing two shots on net in 16:43 of ice time. Jake Bean, Carolina's top pick in the 2016 draft, was third among team defensemen in ice time, registering an even plus/minus rating in 16:45 of time on ice. Julien Gauthier skated 10:53 in the loss. 

The single-elimination medal round begins this afternoon. The United States meets Switzerland at Air Canada Centre at 5:30 p.m. Second-seeded Canada will face the three seed from Group A, the Czech Republic, at Bell Centre in Montreal at 8 p.m. It will be the first tournament game in Montreal for the Canadians, which should be quite a thrill for Gauthier, who grew up there. 

Tweet from @HC_Men: .@ju_gauth12 on playing at the @BellCentre. pic.twitter.com/nulaVSTi1e

Speaking of Gauthier, we posted Jake Bean's #Make150Count last week, so here is Gauthier's: 

Tweet from @RBC: As Team Canada prepare for #CANvsUSA on New Year���s Eve, watch Julien Gauthier #Make150Count by thanking hockey parents. #WorldJuniors pic.twitter.com/8wWlAEKm0t

The USA-Switzerland game (5:30) and Canada-Czech Republic (8 p.m.) will both be televised in the U.S. on NHL Network. 

Wrong Kind of History

Meanwhile, it would be an understatement to call Finland's World Junior experience this year a disappointment. 

Finland dropped its first three games of the tournament, fired its entire coaching staff and was already destined for the relegation round prior to topping Switzerland to wrap up group play. Hurricanes second-round pick Janne Kuokkanen, who has 40 points (15g, 25a) in 28 games for London (OHL) this season, skated 13:05 of ice time in the win against the Swiss.  

Finland is the first country in the history of the tournament to win the championship one year, and head to the relegation round the next. The Finns take on Latvia in a three-game series beginning today at 11 a.m.

Schedule: Hurricanes Prospects in the 2017 World Junior Championship

December 26

Czech Republic 2, Finland 1
Canada 5, Russia 3

Recap: Roy's Goal Highlights Canada's Opening Win

December 27

Denmark 3, Finland 2
Canada 5, Slovakia 0

Recap: Gauthier Out-Shoots Slovakia & Aho Looks Back

December 29

Sweden 3, Finland 1
Canada 10, Latvia 2

Recap: Gauthier, Roy Score in Canada Blowout

December 31

United States 3, Canada 1
Finland 2, Switzerland 0

January 2

Quarterfinals

8 p.m.: Canada vs. Czech Republic (NHL Network, TSN)

Relegation round

11 a.m.: Finland vs. Latvia

January 4

Semifinals

January 5

3:30 p.m.: Bronze medal game
8 p.m.: Gold medal game

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