The second step in the road to the 2011 World Junior Championship gold medal starts Sunday with a pair of quarterfinal matchups.
In the first game, Canada faces Switzerland (3:30 p.m. ET, NHLN-US, TSN). It's the first time the teams have faced each other in medal-round play since the 2002 WJC semifinals, won 4-0 by Canada.
Canada is led by Brayden Schenn
, the tournament leader with 7 goals and 14 points. He's 4 points shy of tying Canada's single-tournament record of 18 points, set by Dale McCourt
The game also will feature a matchup of Portland Winterhawks teammates Ryan Johansen
(Canada) and Nino Niederreiter
(Switzerland), who also were taken fourth and fifth, respectively, at the 2010 Entry Draft.
leads Switzerland with 3 goals and 5 points.
The winner of that game will play the U.S. in the semifinals Monday (7:30 p.m. ET, NHLN-US, TSN).
In the other quarterfinal Sunday, Finland will play Russia (7:30 p.m., NHLN-US, TSN2).
Finland, led by goaltender Joni Ortio
, a Calgary Flames
prospect, has had an outstanding tournament. Recent struggles have seen Finland fighting just to advance to medal-round play -- they finished fifth last year, their best finish in the previous four tournaments. This year, however their only loss in preliminary-round play came against the U.S. in overtime on the opening night of the WJC.
Ortio stopped 80 of 84 shots in the preliminary round, and his 1.08 goals-against average and .952 save percentage both are second in the tournament. Erik Haula
, a Minnesota Wild
prospect, had 2 goals Friday against Slovakia and leads a balanced offense with 3 goals. Red Wings prospect Teemu Pulkkinen
has a team-best 6 points.
They'll face a Russia team that lost its first two games of the tournament and needed a win Friday against the Czech Republic just to qualify for the medal round.
Russia defenseman Dmitri Orlov
, a Washington Capitals
prospect, leads the tournament with 7 assists
It'll mark the first time the teams have met in the medal round since the 2004 WJC quarterfinals, won by Finland 4-3.
The winner of the game will face Sweden in the second semifinal Monday (3:30 p.m. ET, NHLN-US, TSN).
The winners of Monday's semifinal games will meet in the gold-medal game on Wednesday (7:30 p.m. ET, NHLN-US, TSN). The losers will play Wednesday for the bronze medal (3:30 p.m. ET, NHLN-US, TSN).