Group Stage. Group B
Stadium: Peavey Mart Centrium (Red Deer)
The Russian national team beat Tre Kronor in four of their last five head-to-head encounters at the youth championships. Will the Swedish team be able to improve their stats now? Our prediction: this time the Junior Crowns will win!Claim Your Welcome Bonus!
It so happens that the Russian under-20 team has been associated with Valeri Bragin for the past decade, as hockey players have changed from year to year, while the coach has continued to work and achieve good results. Over the course of the previous year, Igor Larionov, who missed out on a World Cup medal last year, and Oleg Bratash, who never made it to Canada due to health problems, took over as the team's head coach; now Sergei Zubov will be leading the youth team. The new head coach will have a difficult task, fighting for the gold medal the Russians haven't had for the last ten years. On the eve of the World Championship, the red team played a friendly with the Canadians and was defeated 4-6.
The Swedish team had a poor showing at the last World Cup. Back then, Tre Kronor won only two games in the group and finished their performance at the quarterfinal stage where they lost to Finland 2-3, conceding the decisive puck 25 seconds before the end of the third period. Now the Junior Crowns play with a more experienced squad, William Eklund having already managed to make four assists for San Jose before deciding to return to the local Djurgårdens, and Alexander Holtz with assists for New Jersey who still spends more time in Utica of AHL.
Over the past decade and a half, the teams have played 16 face-offs. The Russians won five games, while the Swedes have been stronger in 11. The goal difference also favors Tre Kronor with a score of 45-34. The last year World Championship saw the rivals meet once when the Russian team players celebrated the victory in overtime, 4-3.
Expert Betting Tips
Teams Russia and Sweden constantly play each other at the U-20 world championships, and there was a bad streak for the red team when they kept losing to the yellow-and-blues time after time, but recently managed to turn the situation around. It will be very difficult for the Russians to be successful again, because their new coach will be the newcomer Sergei Zubov, who lost his first game in his new position to Canada, 4-6. The Tre Kronor has a very experienced roster for the 2022 World Cup, with some young stars experienced in the NHL. It is possible to place a bet on the victory of the Swedish national team in the match with an odds of about 1.965.
The confrontation between Russia and Sweden has recently proved very productive. In the 3 previous head-to-head encounters, the rivals scored a combined total of 23 pucks (7.67 on average per game), and every match saw Total Over. Now, we can also expect the opponents to play spectacular, productive hockey. Besides, the tournament is just beginning, so mistakes are unlikely to be fatal. With this in mind, we would expect the total to be over 5.5 pucks at odds close to 1.876.
Fabian Lysell is a talented forward, who plays in the Western Hockey League for the Vancouver Giants this season. In 14 games, the Swedish player has already scored 28 points (11 goals + 17 assists) which speaks for his high level skills. Last year he already started playing at the adult level for Luleå, where he scored two goals and made one assist, so in the upcoming tournament he should be one of the leaders of Tre Kronor, despite his age of 18. In such a situation, it is worth betting on his Total Over (0.5) points at odds of about 1.90.