If there was one word to describe this year’s world hockey championship, it would be unpredictable. Over the last 11 days we have seen a lot of upsets and unexpected results, so heading into the final day of the round robin portion of the tournament, it’s only fitting that there is a lot to be decided still.
Group A has more or less settled itself after Russia defeated Sweden 3-2 in a shootout today, eliminating the Swedes from playoff contention. The four team field from Group A will be Russia, Switzerland, Slovakia, and the Czech Republic, however the order of each in the standings is still to be decided. Russia leads the way with 14 points, Switzerland and Slovakia have 12, and the Czechs have 10 with all teams having one game left.
Group B on the other hand is much more undecided. We know for sure that Finland and the United States are into the playoff round with both having 15 points through six games, but there is just two points separating third place and seventh place.
Kazakhstan sits 3rd with 10 points, but have played their full seven game slate already, which concluded with a 3-1 loss to Norway. Germany, Canada, and Latvia all have nine points with the tiebreakers being held in the respective order. Germany will play Latvia tomorrow, with the winner clinching a playoff spot. Canada on the other hand will need a victory over 1st place Finland to advance. For the first time since the start of the tournament, Canada controls their own destiny again.
Canada has been led by the arrival of Andrew Mangiapane who has seven points in three games since joining the team, which also happened to be all victories for Canada. They will need more his scoring in order to take down a very good Finnish roster and punch their ticket to the quarterfinals.
Here is the schedule for the final day of the round robin:
- Switzerland vs Great Britain
- Canada vs Finland (3:15 AM MT Puck Drop)
- Slovakia vs Czech Republic
- Italy vs United States
- Russia vs Belarus
- Germany vs Latvia
A lot is still to be decided and should make for a very entertaining day of hockey.
Here are the results from Days 9, 10, and 11 of the tournament:
- Czech Republic 6, Great Britain 1
- Kazakhstan 11, Italy 3
- Russia 4, Switzerland 1
- United States 2, Norway 1
- Slovakia 2, Denmark 0
- Finland 2, Germany 1
- Switzerland 6, Belarus 0
- Canada 7, Italy 1
- Sweden 3, Slovakia 1
- Finland 3, Latvia 2 (OT)
- Czech Republic 2, Denmark 1 (SO)
- United States 2, Germany 0
- Russia 3, Sweden 2 (SO)
- Norway 3, Kazakhstan 1
Upon conclusion of the round robin, the quarterfinals will begin on Thursday. It is also important to note that there is no relegation this year for last place teams.