Tournament Format

The 10 teams are divided into two, five-team groups in the Preliminary Round.

Group A (Calgary)
Latvia
Slovakia
Sweden
Switzerland
Russia

Group B (Edmonton)
Canada
Czech Republic
Denmark
Finland
United States

After a single round-robin in each group, the top three teams from each group advance to the Playoff Round while the fourth- and fifth-place teams in each group move to the Relegation Round.

The top-seeded team from each group will receive a bye into the semifinals. The second- and third-place teams from the will play a cross-over quarter-final (2A vs. 3B; 3A vs 2B). The winner of each quarter-final moves onto the semifinals, while the losers will play in the fifth-place game.

The winner of each semifinal will advance to the gold medal game, while the losers will play in the bronze medal game.

Relegation Round

The four teams in the Relegation Round play a single round-robin. The three teams with the best records at the end of the round robin play again at the 2013 IIHF World Junior Championship, while the fourth-place teams are relegated to Division I. Teams carry over the points they earned from the Preliminary Round from the game against the other team from the group participating in the Relegation Round. This relegation format is new 2012.  In previous seasons, two teams were relegated and two teams were promoted.

Three-Point System

For all games points shall be awarded as follows:

Three (3) points for a win in regulation time
Two (2) points for a win in overtime or Game Winning Shots
One (1) point for a loss in overtime or Game Winning Shots
Zero (0) points for a loss in regulation time
 
Overtime Operations (Preliminary Round)

If a game is tied at the end of regulation time, a five-minute overtime period shall be played immediately after an intermission of three minutes. The teams will defend the same goals as in the third period. The game will end when the five minutes has expired or when a goal is scored; the scoring team will be declared the winner. If no goal is scored in the overtime period then the Game Winning Shots (shootout) procedure will apply. All overtime periods of any IIHF game shall be played with each team at four-on-four.

Overtime Operations (Playoff Round)
 
If a game is tied at the end of regulation time in a quarter-final, semi-final or bronze medal game, a 10-minute overtime period shall be played immediately after an intermission of three minutes. The teams will defend the same goals as in the third period. The game will end when a goal is scored; the scoring team will be declared the winner. If no goal is scored in the overtime period then the Game Winning Shots (shootout) procedure will apply. All overtime periods of any IIHF game shall be played with each team at four-on-four.

In the gold medal game there will be a 20-minute overtime period, following a 15-minute intermission during which the ice will be resurfaced. The teams will change ends. The game will end when a goal is scored; the scoring team will be declared the winner. If no goal is scored in the overtime period then the Game Winning Shots (shootout) procedure will apply. All overtime periods of any IIHF game shall be played with each team at four-on-four.

Game Winning Shots Procedure

If no goal is scored in the overtime period, the Game Winning Shots (GWS) procedure will apply. The following procedure will be utilized:
      
Three different shooters from each team will take alternate shots, until a decisive goal is scored.
      
If the game is still tied after three shots by each team, the GWS will continue with a tie-breaker shootout by one player of each team, with a reversed shooting order. The same or new players can take the tie-breaker shots. The same player can also be used for each shot by a team in the tie-breaker shootout.
     
Only the decisive goal will count in the result of the game.
      
Shots will be taken at both ends of the ice. The area of the ice to be used will be dry scraped.
      
A coin toss will determine which team takes the first shot, with the winner of the toss having the choice whether his team will shoot first or second.
      
Any player whose penalty was not over when overtime ended cannot take the shots and must stay in the penalty box or in the dressing room.
      
Once named, players may only be replaced in the event of injury or penalty.
      
The substitute stand-by player is placed last in the shooting order.
      
The goaltenders will defend the same goal, as determined by the referee.
      
The goaltenders from each team may be changed after each shot.
      
Teams will shoot alternately until a decisive goal is scored.
      
The decisive goal will be credited to the player who scored and to the goaltender concerned.

Tie-Breaking Formula

The tie-breaking system for two teams with the same number of points in the standings will be the game between the two teams, the winner of the game taking the higher position.  

Due to the fact that the three-point system does not allow a game to end in a tie, the following tie-breaking procedure is applicable when three or more teams are tied in points in the standings.

Should three or more teams be tied on points, a tie-breaking formula will be applied as follows, creating a sub-group amongst the tied teams. This process will continue until only two teams remain tied.  The game between the two remaining tied teams would then be the determining tie-breaker as the game between these two teams could not end in a tie.

1. Taking into consideration the games between each of the tied teams, a sub-group is created applying the points awarded in the direct games amongst the tied teams from which the teams are then ranked accordingly.

2. Should the teams still remain tied, the better goal difference in the direct games amongst the tied teams will be decisive.  

3. Should the teams still remain tied, the highest number of goals scored by these teams in their direct games will be decisive.

4. Should the teams still remain tied, the results between each of the three teams and the closest best-ranked team outside the sub-group will be applied. In this case the tied team with the best result (1. points, 2. goal difference, 3. more goals scored) against the closest best ranked-team will take the higher position.
 
5. Should the teams still remain tied, the results between each of the three teams and the next highest best-ranked team outside the sub-group will be applied.

6. Should the teams still remain tied, sport considerations will be applied and the tied teams will be ranked by their positions coming into the tournament.

NOTE: If not all mutual games have been played yet in an ongoing tournament, the tied teams will be ranked in the standings according to the following criteria:

1. Fewest games played
2. Goal differential
3. Goals scored
4. Position coming into the tournament

2012 IIHF World Junior Championship
 
Tue, Jan 03, 2012
USA 12 - LAT 2 (Relegation)
SWE 3 - FIN 2  (OT) (Semifinal)
CAN 5 - RUS 6 (Semifinal)
Wed, Jan 04, 2012
LAT 2 - DEN 1  (OT) (Relegation)
SUI 1 - USA 2 (Relegation)
CZE 5 - SVK 2 (5th Place)
Thu, Jan 05, 2012
CAN 4 - FIN 0 (Bronze)
SWE 1 - RUS 0  (OT) (Gold)
 
Group A
Team GP W L OTW OTL PTS
RUS 7 4 0 1 2 13
SWE 6 2 0 4 0 13
SVK 6 2 3 0 0 6
SUI 6 1 3 1 1 4
LAT 6 0 5 1 0 1
Group B
Team GP W L OTW OTL PTS
FIN 7 4 2 0 1 12
CAN 6 5 1 0 0 12
CZE 6 2 2 0 1 6
USA 6 3 3 0 0 3
DEN 6 0 4 0 2 1
Click here for complete schedule/results