With just a handful of days left in the preliminary round, things haven’t gotten any clearer in either of Group A or B as the tournament continued. With Denmark defeating Belarus on Friday, they continue to hold down the fourth playoff spot in that group with eight points, just ahead of Sweden (6 points) and Czech Republic (5 points). Denmark already beat Sweden earlier in the tournament, meaning their fate is entirely in their own hands heading into their final two games against Slovakia and the Czech Republic.
The top of Group A is also very tight as all of Russia, Slovakia, and Switzerland have nine points with 3-0-0-1 records through four games. Over in Group B, Finland continues to sit atop the standings with a 3-0-1-0 record, while Germany and the United States are right behind them at 3-0-0-1. With a shootout loss to Norway, Latvia isn’t far behind with eight points, and Kazakhstan has seven.
Canada has managed to rally off back to back victories after starting the tournament 0-3, but still sit on the outside of the playoff picture with just two games to go. They have a game against Italy which they “should” win, and then a tilt against top seeded Finland which will be a challenge for the young team. At this point Canada will likely need regulation wins in both games and some help to get through to the playoff round.
From a Flames standpoint, Andrew Mangiapane continues to play a big role for Canada, leading the first line and putting up two points in their 4-2 victory over Kazakhstan. Emilio Pettersen also picked up his first goal of the tournament on Friday for Norway.
Here are the scores from Day 7 & 8 of the tournament:
- Switzerland 8, Slovakia 1
- United States 4, Latvia 2
- Czech Republic 4, Sweden 2
- Finland 3, Italy 0
- Sweden 4, Great Britain 1
- Canada 4, Kazakhstan 2
- Denmark 5, Belarus 2
- Norway 4, Latvia 3 (SO)