The tournament is divided into two groups, with each group consisting of four teams. The teams in each group play a round-robin tournament, with each team playing the other three teams in their group once. The top two teams from each group advance to the knockout stage, which consists of a single-elimination tournament.
- United States
In the knockout stage, the team that finishes first in Group A plays the team that finishes fourth in Group B, and the team that finishes first in Group B plays the team that finishes fourth in Group A. The winners of these two games then play each other in the semifinals, with the winners of those two games advancing to the championship game to determine the overall winner of the tournament.
- 1A vs. 4B
- 2A vs. 3B
- 1B vs. 4A
- 2B vs. 3A
- (1A vs. 4B) vs (1B vs. 4A)
- (2A vs. 3B) vs (2B vs. 3A)
- 1A vs. 2A
The gold medal game of the World Junior Hockey Championship is the final game of the tournament, played between the two teams that have advanced to the championship round. The winner of this game is awarded the gold medal and is crowned the overall champion of the tournament.
The gold medal game is typically the most highly anticipated and watched game of the tournament, as it determines the winner of the championship. The gold medal game is played after the semifinal games, which determine the two teams that will compete in the final.
The gold medal game is a single-elimination game, so the winner is determined by the outcome of this one game.