WJC: 2020 IIHF WM U20 D2A in Vilnius, LITHUANIA (06.01. - 12.01.2020.)

Discussion in 'International Tournaments' started by ZT, Jan 5, 2020.

  1. ZT

    ZT Registered User

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    Last edited: Jan 5, 2020
  2. ZT

    ZT Registered User

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    Looking forward to see Aito Iguchi. :thumbu:
     
  3. passive voice

    passive voice Registered User

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    Japan's got two kids in the USHL and one in the Q? That seems high-end for this level. Am I out to lunch?
     
  4. 3 Minute Minor

    3 Minute Minor Registered User

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    It's a good Japanese group for sure. They're D1A at the U18 level

    If Kirk reported GB would have 1 OHL & 2 NAHL
     
  5. SoundAndFury

    SoundAndFury Registered User

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    No, they should dominate this completely. But the same should be said about Brittish boys. A huge talent gap between teams this year. Kinda funny the very first game of the tournament is the decider.
     
  6. ozo

    ozo Registered User

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    Hmm, I kinda felt this is Japan's to lose, no? They won or came second in their last two appearances in 2A level, and now they should have couple of potential stars in their lineup. GB sort of has the depth, but their goaltending is well below average, Lithuania has less depth, but has Lubys. FWIW Great Britain dropped an exhibition game to Spain couple of days ago so I wouldn't be too enthusiastic about their chances....
     
  7. DopeyFish

    DopeyFish Mitchy McDangles

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    i'm here for Aito!
     
  8. SoundAndFury

    SoundAndFury Registered User

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    We have played pre-tournament friendlies against both teams and they both have plenty of quality. Like you pointed out, this GB team was let down by goaltending at all levels but if Kerlin improved or they simply get lucky enough and he doesn't mess up for one game, they can hang in there with Japan.

    Sure Japan are the favorites, no debating that, but not overwhelming ones, in my opinion.
     
  9. 3 Minute Minor

    3 Minute Minor Registered User

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    Based on the pre-tournament friendlies, I wouldn't hold on my breath on Kerlin improvements

    He looks like a goalie that has been a glorified season ticket holder this season
     
  10. SoundAndFury

    SoundAndFury Registered User

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    To those looking for the stream here.

    Hockey Lietuva

    Iguchi is SO small though.. Unless he grows A LOT NHL isn't even in the picture. Japan has a lot of small guys and he stands out even among those.

    Hanzawa so far the best player on the ice, with a nice goal and another great chance from in close. 190cm Brits acting tough against 170cm Japanese :laugh:
     
    Last edited: Jan 6, 2020
  11. DopeyFish

    DopeyFish Mitchy McDangles

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    Japan looks like they're way better, though... Just sloppy
     
  12. ozo

    ozo Registered User

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    My eyes might be deceiving me, but I can't see any potential NHL talent on ice today. :sarcasm:
     
  13. DopeyFish

    DopeyFish Mitchy McDangles

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    Sorry to hear about your visual difficulty :-(
     
  14. SoundAndFury

    SoundAndFury Registered User

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    Ando has been quiet, that is true.
     
  15. ozo

    ozo Registered User

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    This is heading to where it was supposed to, GB missing their couple of key players means there can be only one outcome.
     
  16. SoundAndFury

    SoundAndFury Registered User

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    Yup. Really when you think about it, GB probably had a better team last year.
     
  17. ozo

    ozo Registered User

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    Kerlin is hopeless, always making himself as small as possible and tucking himself into one side of the goal for no apparent reason.
     
  18. SoundAndFury

    SoundAndFury Registered User

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    Yeah, I guess no surprises were provided. Japan starts clicking on PP and that's gg, as the kids say nowadays.
     
  19. swissexpert

    swissexpert Registered User

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    Japan was the better team overall, there were a few defensive errors though, which the Brits couldn't convert.
    I have trouble to guess Lithuanias strength, but it shouldn't be a huge hurdle for JPN either..

    I guess normally, LIT-GBR should be the silver game, loser of ESP-SRB goes down.
     
  20. ozo

    ozo Registered User

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    Sounds about right. If Serbia faced Spain today, all the important promotion/relegation stuff would be sorted on day one of the tournament.
     
  21. pukovnik

    pukovnik Registered User

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    Serbia is missing one of their best forwards, Savovic. He could be of big help for them especially tomorrow.
     
  22. SoundAndFury

    SoundAndFury Registered User

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    Both goalies doing their part to make this interesting.
     
  23. PanniniClaus

    PanniniClaus Registered User

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    Romania have promoted to Div 1 A in senior mens and look competitive here. Is the country putting more resources in hockey than they had before?
     
  24. SoundAndFury

    SoundAndFury Registered User

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    They don't look competitive, they actually looked like a complete dumpster fire against Serbia (likely the weakest team in the tournament), other than the obvious skill their top forwards have.

    They have also been promoted at the senior level just because Poland completely dropped the ball. And because they started naturalizing people, their top goalie was Slovak and top scorer was Ukrainian, another Ukrainian tied for 2nd in scoring. Having pro teams allow you to do that, not so much at the U20 level.

    Having said that, their hockey was never as bad as it looked, it should never be anywhere near D2A at senior level, it's miracle countries like Lithuania or Estonia manage to keep above them, for the most part. The money was always there, somewhat. Their hockey structure is at the level those countries can only dream off, they have 5 borderline fully professional teams, play in Erste Liga, their kids play in Hungarian junior, etc. One could say structure-wise, their hockey could be on par with Hungary's. But therein lies the problem at the senior level, most of Romania's best players come from Miercurea Ciuc and are ethnically Hungarian. The relationship between the state, coaches, federation with that minority is fragile. In the disputed region hockey is pretty much minority sport much like it was in the Baltic states/Kazakhstan in the Soviet days and it produces 80% of Romania's players despite none of the pro teams being in the region. Naturally, a lot of kids also simply choose to play for Hungary too, you can see kids born in Miercurea Ciuc every year on the Hungarian U20 roster (for further reading how it got to be that way).

    There are also some other frictions like one between two biggest teams - Corona Brasov and Csikszereda. Romanian hockey has been riddled with disagreements for years so long story short, they pretty much never have their best roster, there might be as many as 20 top players missing from it some years. Like the 1st year they played in D2A, nobody suited up. Someone like Zsombor Antal, despite being one of countries best forwards, hasn't played for it since 12/13. And even though that's an extreme case you can see pretty much none of Romania's top players rarely play for the NT every year, Gliga being the big exception. So if you are the GM of Romanian NT you really have work cut out for you. At full strength, they are definitely closer to the top of D1B rather than the bottom of it.

    But at the U20 level they are really weak. Year after year, they have some top guys who are ok but their development system is really weak. Very few kids leave the country to play against better competition abroad and those who can make Hungarian NT mostly do it, if they are given a chance. So what's left to Romania is the group that doesn't really have any outstanding talents (no Kirk, or Rooba, or Armalis, or whatever), their best players have never reached the level above a decent Erste Liga pro. And on the bottom of the roster there are guys who are terrible. Who played in Romania (not Hungary) locally and are on par with Croatia or Serbia maybe, but not the real hockey countries. Also, they have never had a competitive goalie at this level, ever. It's a big deal, Asian teams always have this problem, GB now pretty much failed at every level despite having a very talented group (and they only won U18 division in 2018 because Poland dropped the ball, again, and couldn't beat Estonia), Lithuania had some relatively big success by having good goalies, etc. So at U20 they are not a particularly deep team with a bad goalie being carried by somewhat mediocre top guys. This year all their top guys are 19 and the team still looks meh at best.
     
    Last edited: Jan 9, 2020
    Uncle Rotter and kaiser matias like this.
  25. PanniniClaus

    PanniniClaus Registered User

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    Appreciate the very detailed analysis. Will being at Div 1 A bring some of the best players into the fray or will it not matter? Seems odd that if a Croatia can luck into the odd naturalized goaltender, Romania can't.
     

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