After some solid development in the men’s team department over the past few years, France will earn promotion to the Division IA World Juniors after defeating Poland 7-2 in the final game of the tournament.

France had a tough challenge up for grabs. A victory would tie them for first place, but unless they found a way to beat the strong Polish team by four or more goals, they weren’t going to take the top prize. A loss would actually leave them in third place, trailing Poland and Great Britain in the final rankings. A loss to Team GB put things in jeopardy a few days prior, but a big victory on Friday would seal the deal for the French.

And that’s exactly what they did, pacing Poland for 60 minutes before eventually blowing out their rivals 7-2. The five-goal cushion was exactly what the team needed to leapfrog them into first place, taking the Division IB World Junior tournament and advancing to the second highest tournament for next year.

The win marks the first time France has gained promotion to Division IA in the past four years, taking a measly fourth place finish a year ago. With France’s victory, the team will replace Italy in a tournament that could decide whether or not the team makes it to the top tournament for 2018 in Buffalo.

On the flip side, Slovenia, who came into the tournament as the top-ranked team due to being relegated from Division IA the year before, failed to generate anything to finish dead last in the tournament.  Featuring a team mainly of 18-year-olds, Slovenia failed to create much offense which led to a rough tournament for the country that saw the men’s team relegated from the top division of the World Championships this year. Fortunately, with Japan dropping out of the event, Slovenia will not have to worry about relegation for a year and could come back with a very strong squad next December to help their effort.

Follow me on twitter, @StevenEllisNHL.

About The Author

Steven took a different route towards his hockey interests. Starting out as a big Habs fan, he started to gravitate towards the more obscure levels of hockey, such as the low level tournaments in Asia, strange club matches between teams most people in North America can’t pronounce, and even some 3am contests between Bulgaria and New Zealand. Aside from his love for strange hockey events, Steven occasionally acts as a mediocre ball hockey goalie following a failed attempt at making it to the NHL as a fourth line house league grinder. Beyond hockey, Steven is an avid racing fan and loves to chat about NASCAR, F1, Indycar, you name it. Oh, and don’t get him started on music. That is, unless you want the whole history of metal and a guitar lesson. Currently, Steven is a credentialed media member with the Mississauga Steelheads of the OHL, as well as with the Oakville Blades of the OJHL. Steven has also hosted the television show "The Hockey House" on TVCogeco in Ontario, as well as a segment under the same with on LeafsTV in Toronto. Home page: http://www.thehockeyhouse.net

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