About the League
Two semifinal games will take place at the 2019 Sirius Junior Club World Cup on August 30th. Team AJHL, representing Canada, reigning champions of Finland Kärpät Oulu, Austrian Red Bull and defending champions Loko Yaroslavl of Russia will compete for two spots in the final.
Team AJHL vs. Kärpät
Just as Loko Kärpät have established themselves a force to reckoned with at the tournament. Oulu have clear-cut leaders and promising young players, who are ready for great achievements. ‘Ermines’ suffered a loss as Jesse Koskenkorva was called up to Kärpät’s first team. However, Oulu’s top line remained intact. Tuukka Tieksola is all over the scoresheet at the tournament as he has 3 goals and 5 assists for 8 points in 3 games. He leads Junior Club World Cup in points. His teammate Zdenek Sedlak is just one point behind him but he leads the tournament in goals.
Alberta improved throughout the tournament and that is the greatest achievement right now for coaches Boris Rybalka and Rick Swan. Having lost to Loko in the tournament opener, Canada beat MODO 5-4 in exciting fashion and steamrolled over Davos 7-0. With all due respect, Team AJHL faced weaker opponents in every game as the tournament progressed, which they used to their advantage. Jordan Biro leads AJHL Selects in points with two goals and four assists. Alex Young is second at the tournament with three goals, while Ryan Conroy lead all Junior Club World Cup defensemen with four points.
Loko vs. Red Bull
Defending Kharlamov Cup and Junior Club World Cup champions looked solid in round robin, excluding the shaky start of their first game against Team AJHL. Having allowed two goals in a row, Yaroslavl managed to tie it up and scored the late game-winning goal. In the games against Davos and MODO the ‘railway men’ didn’t give a single reason to doubt their superiority as they scored ten goals and conceded just one. Igor Melyakov’s team got reinforcements mid-tournament from junior Team Russia, which won Four Nations tournament in Perm. Loko and Kärpät are considered favorites of the tournament. Alexander Daryin leads Yaroslavl in points with a goal and five assists. Maxim Denezhkin, who led Loko in scoring last season, also has six points.
Red Bull made the semifinal due to Ocelari Trinec defeated Team NAHL in the last round robin game. Austria surpassed Czech Republic and USA on goal differential. Teemu Levijoki will face Loko in the semifinal game for the second consecutive year and will do their best to pull off a true hockey upset. Last year Yaroslavl blew past Red Bull 8-2 in the semifinal. Salzburg lost to Team NAHL and Kärpät in round robin but made it to the medal round because of a blowout win over Ocelari.