After 12 days of really exciting international hockey, the quarterfinal matchups of the 2021 IIHF World Hockey Championships are set. The tournament featured a number of typically underdog countries making exciting runs either into the playoffs or just missing out. Among these teams were Kazakhstan and Latvia in Group B who just missed with 10 and 9 points respectively, while Denmark finished only a few points out in Group A.
The only real unexpected result in terms of missing the playoff round was Sweden in Group A as they couldn’t recover from a couple of early tournament losses, finishing two points behind the fourth place Czechs. Canada just barely managed to squeak in thanks to picking up 10 points over their final four games, although they had to wait for the outcome of the Germany-Latvia game to ensure they made it after a shootout loss to Finland earlier in the day. Here’s a full breakdown from Gord Miller about what had to happen for Canada to make the playoffs after a 0-3 start.
After starting 0-3, what had to happen for Canada to make the #IIHFWorlds QFs:— Gord Miller (@GMillerTSN) June 2, 2021
CAN reg win vs NOR ✅
CAN reg win vs KAZ ✅
FIN reg win vs GER ✅
CAN reg win vs ITA ✅
FIN win vs LAT ✅
USA reg win vs GER ✅
NOR reg win vs KAZ ✅
CAN 1 pt vs FIN ✅
GER/LAT end in reg ✅
Safe to say the hockey gods smiled upon Team Canada. Peter Cehlarik of Slovakia and Connor Brown of Canada finished tied for the tournament lead in scoring through the round robin with both having ten points. It is worth noting that Andrew Mangiapane finished 7th in tournament scoring with eight points, but in just four games.
Here are the scores from Day 12 of the tournament:
- Switzerland 6, Great Britain 3
- Finland 3, Canada 2 (SO)
- Czech Republic 7, Slovakia 3
- United States 4, Italy 2
- Russia 6, Belarus 0
- Germany 2, Latvia 1
You can view the complete tournament standings here.
1A) Russia vs 4B) Canada
1B) Finland vs 4A) Czech Republic
2B) United States vs 3A) Slovakia
2A) Switzerland vs 3B) Germany
Canada will have their hands full with a Russian team that was dominant through the preliminary round, going 5-1-0-1. All four of the quarterfinals matchups provide a lot of intrigue and should all be worthwhile watching for those interested.
All games go on Thursday June 3, with Switzerland-Germany and USA-Slovakia at 7:15 AM MT followed by Russia-Canada and Finland-Czech Republic at 11:15. The semifinal games will be on Saturday with the medal games on Sunday.