So it’s come to this: semi-final Monday at the 2021 World Junior Championship! One game will be a clash between historical rivals with Calgary Flames prospects on both sides. The other game should be less competitive, but no less compelling.
Here’s a quick snapshot of the four teams left standing in Edmonton.

Canada vs. Russia

(4:00 p.m. MT; TSN1)
Flames prospects go head to head in this one, as 2020 first rounder Connor Zary and 2019 first rounder Jakob Pelletier (on Team Canada) face 2020 second round pick Yan Kuznetsov (on Team Russia) with a trip to the gold medal game on the line!
Canada is the only undefeated team remaining in the tournament and they’ve out-scored their opponents fairly thoroughly in the tournament, though their games against Finland and the Czech Republic were much closer than their earlier blowouts.
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If Canada can just do what they did in their prior games and maintain their urgency, they should be able to beat a Russian team that sagged against the Czechs (in their lone loss) and let Germany make their quarterfinal meeting more competitive than it should’ve been.

United States vs. Finland

(7:30 p.m. MT; TSN1)
Like the rest of us, 2019 seventh round pick (and Team USA backup goalie) Dustin Wolf will watch this game intently. Unlike the rest of us, he can be guaranteed at least a silver medal with an American victory. This week will finish off the IIHF junior eligibility for Wolf, who did his job this tournament with a game and a half of shutout hockey that allowed USA starter Spencer Knight to reset.
The key for the Americans here will be consistency. The Finns are a sneaky-good team who wore the Swedes down in the quarterfinals. But the Americans are deeper and have more high-end firepower than the Swedes did, so if they can stick to their game plan they could be on the path to the gold medal game on Tuesday night.
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