This is likely one of the last matchups the Canadians would have liked in the semi-finals of this years IIHF World Junior Hockey Championships, but it’s the one they got after the Russians defeated the Czech’s in overtime last night. Now the rematch of last years wild final is set to take place tonight at 9:00pm EST. We all remember how last year turned out with the Canadians heading into the 3rd period up 3-0 before allowing 3 quick goals to start the period and 2 more later to lose the game 5-3. This year revenge is in order.
It looks like Scott Wedgewood will be getting the nod in net for the Canadians, which I believe is a good decision, not only because he has been the better goaltender so far in the tournament, but also because Visentin was the one who allowed the 5 goals last year to the Russians and putting him back in the same situation could prove costly. Wedgewood has been great, but so has Russian goaltender Vasilevski who stopped 38 of 39 shots against the Czech’s last night.
Sports Interaction currently has the spread in the game at 2.5 goals with Canada as the favourites, while Bodog has the spread at 2. This may be because SportsInteraction.com is primarily a Canadian sportsbook, but this makes it a great place to wager on Russia. If you do sign up at SportsInteraction.com be sure to leave the Sports Interaction refer a friend code empty in order to receive the 100% up to $125 bonus.
The moneyline at Sports Interaction is -500 for Team Canada and +300 for Russia. I don’t think the two squads are as far apart in quality as these lines suggest, but I do expect Team Canada to pull this one out. Therefore I like the +2.5 puckline bet at Sports Interaction on Russia with odds of -130. Vasilevski should be able to keep the Canadians to a reasonable number of goals and the Russian snipers should provide a little bit of offense in order to keep the game close.
Expect Team Canada to wear down the Russian defense with the strong forechecking game that Canada has become known for in this tournament and employed for a great deal of success over recent years. The winner of this game will surely go into the Finals on Thursday with the label of favourite, so this is a huge game for both teams. The loss last year should be enough to keep Canada from getting complacent this time around if they are able to build a lead.
Visit SportsInteraction.com to bet on this Canada vs Russia semi-final!