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I figured I'd give Norway one of these photos for a change.  That's Lars Volden, their starting goaltender.  (Photo by Rick Stewart/Getty Images)
I figured I'd give Norway one of these photos for a change. That's Lars Volden, their starting goaltender. (Photo by Rick Stewart/Getty Images)
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There's really nothing to talk about regarding the games today, other than they're fit for people who like neat, orderly results.  Each game will officially assign the participants a placing from 5th to 10th for the 2011 tournament, which will then be used to determine the pools for next year's tournament.  They're important in the sense that it could lead to another Pool of Death situation, but that could be had by random chance anyways.  The top four nations of the junior hockey world are all in the medal rounds, so next year seems safe from such a split.  

Germany De_medium (0-0-1-4) vs. Norway  No_medium (0-0-0-5), 3:30 PM EST at Dwyer Arena in Niagara

This game used to be of some marginal importance, as it would determine who would be in the slightly easier Division 1A and the tougher Division 1B the next year, but with the re-alignment of Division 1 they'll both be in the same group anyways.  So it's simply a pride game for the countries, as one of them will walk away with a win at the tournament and the other won't.  Germany deserves a win, considering how easily they could have beaten any of Switzerland, Slovakia, or the Czechs with a bit more luck.  

Czech Republic  Cz_medium (2-0-0-3) vs. Slovakia  Sk_medium (1-1-0-3), 7:30 PM EST at Dwyer Arena in Niagara

Well, the winner of this game between these friendly neighbours will have had a .500 tournament, so I suppose that's something to strive for.  Slovakian President Ivan Gasparovic should extend some sort of honorary title upon Czech forward Ondrej Palat for his late game heroics (two third period goals) against Germany on Sunday, which helped prevent this game from being a do or die game.  These two traditional hockey nations have avoided the indignation of relegation yet again at the U20 level, but it seems like it's only a matter of time before one of them does indeed suffer that fate.  The winner will place 7th, the loser will place 8th.  

Fifth Place Game:  Finland  Fi_medium (3-0-2-0) vs. Switzerland  Ch_medium (2-0-0-3), 7:30 PM EST at HSBC Arena in Buffalo

Yep, the Swiss could end up with a worse record than the Czechs, but one played a quarterfinal and the other was in relegation, and the two teams never played each other.  So we don't really know if the Swiss were better than the Czechs in 2011, but on the IIHF official sheet, they were.  That's the way it sometimes goes.  The Finns definitely don't deserve to be in this game, having not lost once in regulation, and outplaying their opponent in all five of their games, but fate has dealt them a tough hand here.  For some reason, the IIHF feels it necessary to hold a fifth place game, I guess so that every team has played at least six games.  This should be an easy Finnish victory, just like it was in the preliminary round, but with it not mattering much for either team, who knows how the teams will treat it.  

Again, not much to discuss here.  I'll provide some updates of the games in the comments, but none of these games are on TV to my knowledge, and there's nothing really riding on the games other than the official result.  Our attention remains on the medal games tomorrow, where we'll see if the underdog Russians can prove to knock off those Canadian boys, who always make the final nowadays (ten straight finals is pretty remarkable, even for Canada).