After second loss of World Juniors, Canadians call themselves ‘major underdogs’ against host Finns


The defending gold-medalists from Canada lost their second game in group play today at the 2016 World Juniors in Finland, falling 5-2 to Sweden.

It marked the first time the Canadians had dropped two group games since 1998. That was the year they had their worst finish ever at the tournament — eighth out of 10 — losing in shocking fashion to Kazakhstan in the seventh-place contest.

Canada, which entered this year’s tournament as the bookmaker’s favorite, will face host Finland in the quarterfinals on Saturday.

The Finns won three times and lost once (to Russia) in the group stage.

“We’re major underdogs,” Canadian defenseman Joe Hicketts told reporters. “We come in and Finland is one of the top teams in the tournament.”