Ah Christmas, one of the best times of the year, with presents, turkey dinners and of course the World Juniors.
The World Juniors is one of the most exciting tournaments during the hockey season. We looked forward to upsets, dazzling performances, and (what this article will be looking at) blowouts. We all know when countries like Japan, Kazakhstan, and Latvia are playing hockey country powerhouses, you know what to expect. Let’s start in 1993, where the player with the most points was Peter Forsbergwith 31 in 7 games played that is mind-boggling. The tournament had 5 games where one team had over 10 goals, and Sweden beat 20-1. 20 goals, in one game? That score is even lopsided in football standards.
The highest score of the 2018 world juniors was USA vs Denmark with a final score of 9-0. But that is nothing compared to some of the final scores the tournament has seen previously. Since that 1993 tournament, there have been 37 games where one team has scored over 10 goals. The sheer amount of goals is pretty incredible and these games are always good for stat padders. In 2013, Finland had a poor tournament and ended up in the relegation division despite being a hockey power, they ran the table scoring 19 goals in 2 games their highest goal output of 11 goals came against the Slovakians.
2012 was exciting and had 5 10+ goal games, two of which the USA had claim to. This was also a year that they found themselves in relegation and they were also able to run the table. Interesting to see when teams under perform in the round robin they then go on to dominate worse teams. Denmark had a rough go in 2012, they had a 10 spot put up on them 3 times, Latvia took the cake by losing 14-0 to Russia here, poor kids.
2010 was another one of those high scoring years, which Canada kicking off the tournament with a 16-0 dismantling of poor Latvia, who did they piss off to deserve that? It didn’t get much easier for them either, losing 12-1 to the US a few days later. And they were relegated despite beating the lowly Austrians the day after getting spanked 10-2. 2009 was just as good, the first 4 games in group A all had scores of 8 and higher, with Canada beating Kazakhstan 15-0. This is arguably one of the most memorable tournaments for Canadians as everyone remembers Gord Miller’s Jordan Eberle goal call in the Semifinals.
The years we saw some of the highest scoring playoff rounds came as early as last year, with the US beating the Czech Republic 9-3. We go back to 2010 again where Switzerland got beaten up by Sweden 11-4 in the Bronze medal game. In 1999 scoring was very high and it showed in this Quarter Final game where Canada beat Kazakhstan 12-2 and unfortunately the year before Finland beat on them even harder in the quarter; 14-1. I think they were just glad to be alive after those two games.
Blowouts are notorious in international competitions such as this, and this year may not be different. The squads are slowly coming together for all countries involved and we can expect some fantastic games. So buckle up and enjoy the best annual hockey tourney, it’s going to be a good one! Also, don’t tell Kazakhstan that it’s been 20 years since that quarterfinal game.