The United States will play Russia on Dec. 25, one of three games scheduled for the first day of the 2021 IIHF World Junior Championship.
The tournament, which runs through Jan. 5, 2021, will be held at Rogers Place in Edmonton, without fans in attendance, in a secure-zone bubble similar to what the NHL used for the Stanley Cup Playoffs. The event had been scheduled for Dec. 26-Jan. 5 in Edmonton and Red Deer, Alberta.
The U.S. and Russia are in Group B for the preliminary round, along with Sweden, Austria and the Czech Republic. After opening against Russia (9:30 p.m. ET), the U.S. will play Austria on Dec. 26 (9:30 p.m. ET), the Czech Republic on Dec. 29 (2 p.m. ET), and Sweden on Dec. 31 (9:30 p.m. ET).
The U.S. finished sixth at the 2020 WJC in the Czech Republic.
Canada, the 2020 tournament winner, is in Group A, along with Finland, Switzerland, Slovakia and Germany.
Canada plays its first game of the tournament against Germany on Dec. 26 (6 p.m. ET). It then plays Slovakia on Dec. 27 (6 p.m. ET), Switzerland on Dec. 29 (6 p.m. ET), and Finland on Dec. 31 (6 p.m. ET).
The top four teams in each group will play in the quarterfinals Jan. 2. The semifinals are Jan. 4, and the championship and third-place games are Jan. 5. Since the IIHF announced the cancelation of five lower-level under-20 tournaments, there will be no relegation or promotion from the 2021 WJC.
“A tremendous amount of planning has been underway for almost two years and announcing the schedule signifies how close we are to puck drop,” said Riley Wiwchar, executive director of the 2021 WJC organizing committee. “After announcing the return of the tournament last month, there is a feeling, even knowing there won’t be fans in the building, of excitement and anticipation across the province and extending across the country as fans get set to cheer on the future stars of the game.”
2021 IIHF WORLD JUNIOR CHAMPIONSHIP SCHEDULE
Friday, Dec. 25
Slovakia vs. Switzerland, 2 p.m. ET
Finland vs. Germany, 6 p.m. ET
U.S. vs. Russia, 9:30 p.m. ET
Saturday, Dec. 26
Czech Republic vs. Sweden, 2 p.m. ET
Canada vs. Germany, 6 p.m. ET
Austria vs. U.S., 9:30 p.m. ET
Sunday, Dec. 27
Switzerland vs. Finland, 2 p.m. ET
Canada vs. Slovakia, 6 p.m. ET
Russia vs. Czech Republic, 9:30 p.m. ET
Monday, Dec. 28
Sweden vs. Austria, 6 p.m. ET
Germany vs. Slovakia, 9:30 p.m. ET
Tuesday, Dec. 29
Czech Republic vs. U.S., 2 p.m. ET
Switzerland vs. Canada, 6 p.m. ET
Russia vs. Austria, 9:30 p.m. ET
Wednesday, Dec. 30
Slovakia vs. Finland, 2 p.m. ET
Germany vs. Switzerland, 6 p.m. ET
Sweden vs. Russia, 9:30 p.m. ET
Thursday, Dec. 31
Austria vs. Czech Republic, 2 p.m. ET
Finland vs. Canada, 6 p.m. ET
U.S. vs. Sweden, 9:30 p.m. ET
Saturday, Jan. 2
Quarterfinal 1, 12 p.m. ET
Quarterfinal 2, 3:30 p.m. ET
Quarterfinal 3, 7 p.m. ET
Quarterfinal 4, 10:30 p.m. ET
Monday, Jan. 4
Semifinal 1, 6 p.m. ET
Semifinal 2, 9:30 p.m. ET
Tuesday, Jan. 5
Third-place game, 5:30 p.m. ET
Championship game, 9:30 p.m. ET