It’s a game where the outcome will almost certainly have a significant bearing on the draw for both teams in the knockout stage, with the victors likely to secure an easier potential route through to the World Juniors Ice Hockey final.
On the Saturday prior to this game, the US faced a crunch game against Sweden which they narrowly lost 5-4 in OT. Previous to that, the USA had won both of their opening group games, eventually seeing off Slovakia 2-1 after being a goal down going into the 3rd Period and then easing past Kazakhstan 8-2 (with Joel Farabee scoring a 1st Period hat-trick).
Finland started with a 2-1 loss to a talented Sweden team, but followed that up with a 5-0 win against Kazakhstan.
The USA and Finland met in the final group game of World Junior Ice Hockey Championships 2017-18 tournament held in the USA exactly a year ago. On that occasion, the USA secured a 5-4 win at the KeyBank Center in Buffalo. They needed a goal late in the 3rd Period from Adam Fox to eventually secure the victory, with Finland having fought back from 3-0 and 4-2 down.
Most expert tipster predictions in this game will probably edge towards the USA, but it’s perhaps worth remembering that Finland did beat Canada 5-2 in preparation for these finals shortly before Christmas, so they certainly possess enough quality to trouble the USA.
On that basis, backing Finland on the Money Line odds is the our pick in this one.
Pick: Money Line – Finland