The sudden-victory format for the first two elimination rounds of the world junior championship is breathtaking and beastly in its emphasis on brevity.
Put it another way: those who enjoyed seeing Russia lose the world junior championship final last season cannot complain about the hosts staying alive with a shootout win over Switzerland on Wednesday Sure, it is an arbitrary, crappy way to have medal hopes go poof, but it's not like the Swiss did not have their chances. Also, think back to 365 days ago in Calgary: Sweden beat Finland in a semifinal shootout prior to defeating Russia for the gold medal two nights later. Few were bothering to put to put an asterisk on the Swedish triumph while relishing Russia's loss.
Above all, sports is entertainment. Who was not rapt by seeing if Switzerland, nowhere near as deep in pro prospects as Russia, try to hand the hosts their comeuppance was riveting viewing? It is part of the total package of the tournament.
The best rationale for having a 10-minute overtime and shootout came from Puck Worlds' Bruce Peter, who noted the IIHF is holding three games per day on the same ice. Perhaps worrying about ice quality is weak sauce, but one would prefer skill decides the semifinals and medal games.
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@jessespector Here they are.In Saskatoon they ran the relegation games on same ice.Did it in Calgary, too.Was 3 a day until medals.
— Bruce Peter (@puckworlds) January 2, 2013