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Wednesday, May 22, 2024
The independent student publication of The University at Buffalo, since 1950

"Tuck, Duck and Get Ready For Some Puck"

The best hockey players in the world are coming to Buffalo over winter break. And they're all under 20 years of age.

The International Ice Hockey Federation's World Under 20 Championship (commonly known as "The World Juniors") is coming to Western New York to bring the best of the best to face off at HSBC Arena.

Last year, the U.S. team surprised everyone when it snatched away what would have been Canada's sixth consecutive gold medal in overtime. The game did nothing more than to fuel an already boiling Canadian and American rivalry that falls over the WJC every year.

Defying World Junior tradition, the first meeting between Canada and Team USA will not be at the usual time. The two teams used to see each other on New Year's Eve during preliminary rounds. This year, it's likely that they'll only meet in the playoffs and/or the medal rounds.

In the summer, Team Canada held one of the most competitive camps. With enough prospects for two full teams, the decision came down to who played well in high-stress situations. The battle between "team white" and "team red" made the players work hard, with "team white" gaining two straight wins.

Sweden, which hasn't released much of its roster information, has always performed well in the under-20 competition. A bronze medal in this heated competition would be no surprise for them.

Many feel that the tournament will not only bring good hockey to the Queen City, but it will also help boost the economy.

"It's going to bring a lot of commerce to the city," said Shelby Griswold, a sophomore international business major. "This is a great thing for the City of Buffalo. A ton of people from all over the world are watching us because of the World Juniors. It shows even more how much of a hockey city Buffalo is."

The IIHF World U-20 Championship will run from Dec. 26 until Jan. 5. Team USA's first showing is at 8 p.m. on Dec. 26 against Finland.

Email: sports@ubspectrum.com


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