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01-13-2013, 04:26 AM
Join Date: Mar 2004
So Division IIB began yesterday, with Division III to start on the 14th.
Not surprisingly, Estonia is off to a good start in Div IIB. They shutout Australia 8-0, even with the latter bolstered by potential NHL draft pick Nathan Walker. I'd expect them to advance, especially because the other teams, Belgium, Iceland, South Korea and Serbia are not likely to match Estonia. My guess is Iceland is relegated. Australia should finish second, depending on how Walker plays the rest of the tournament; if he can prove himself again, they should be fine.
Division III should be interesting. It will be showcase the debut of the United Arab Emirates junior team. Previously the UAE had a senior team at the 2010 World Championships, where they were respectable for a debut nation. They withdrew from the 2011 tournament as they had to play Israel, which goes against Emirati law; however they will be at the 2013 WC. The other countries at the Div III WJC are Bulgaria, China, Mexico, New Zealand, and Turkey. Admittingly, I know very little about this level, so as far as I can tell its a toss-up. If I had to pick, I wouldn't expect the UAE, as they are a brand-new team, nor would I pick China, Mexico or Turkey (lack of a decent junior program, I think). I would say its probably between Bulgaria and New Zealand, with NZ taking it. But this is a total guess and based on nothing. Hopefully someone here is more versed in this level than me.
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