Host nation Sweden take on Canada in Ornskoldsvik the semi-finals of the 2019 Ice Hockey U18 World Championship.
The Swedes lost their opening game 6-1 against the USA in the Preliminary round, but have won every game since, culminating in a 4-2 win against the Czech Republic in the quarter-finals. Sweden scored two first-period goals in 24 seconds and then stayed strong to put themselves into the last four of the tournament.
Canada is 100% in the tournament to date (including an 11-1 rout over Belarus), and secured their place in the semi-finals with a 3-1 win against Latvia. The Canadians also beat the Czech Republic 6-2 in the group stage, which is a point of comparison between the teams.
Sweden vs Canada Betting Lines & Prediction
The teams last met in the group stage of last year’s championship in Russia, with Canada winning 3-2 in OT. The Canucks have won seven of the last nine meetings between the teams in this age group.
Peyton Krebs has six goals for Canada in the finals, while Alex Newhook and Brayden Tracey have four apiece. Canadian goaltender Nolan Maier has the best save percentage in the Championship to date at 95.52%. Teammate Taylor Gauthier isn’t far behind with 92.66%.
For Sweden, Karl Henriksson and Oscar Bjerselius have three goals each. Jesper Wallstedt has a save percentage of 93.62%.
In terms of predictions, this looks likely to be close, particularly with so much at stake and the Swedes having home-ice advantage before a partisan and vociferous crowd.
Canada are the tips to win this though, although there are currently no odds available with sportsbooks at the time of writing.