By virtue of some victories on Sunday and Monday in Slovakia, all five Calgary Flames playing at the World Hockey Championship have advanced to the quarterfinal round.
In their second game without Johnny Gaudreau – he’s day to day with an unspecified injury – the United States beat Germany by a 3-1 score on Sunday. Both Noah Hanifin (three shots, even) and Derek Ryan (a penalty, one shot, even) were held off the score sheet.
Also on Sunday, the Czechs pounded Austria by an 8-0 score. It was another strong game for Michael Frolik, as he had a goal, an assist, a penalty, three shots and was plus-two. He’s one of the top offensive players in the entire tournament.
It was hardly do or die for the Swedes on Monday, but they survived a dramatic push from a Latvian national team that had to win in regulation to have a chance at passing Sweden for the final quarterfinal spot. Unfortunately, the Latvians pulled their goaltender to get a regulation win… and lost 5-4 after Sweden scored on said empty net. Elias Lindholm had an assist, three shots and was even in the win.
The United States has qualified for a quarterfinal spot in Group A, while both Sweden and the Czechs have done so in Group B. Tuesday’s results will determine seeding.
- The USA sits third (behind Finland and Canada), and plays Canada in the final round robin game. An American win of any kind gets them at least second place in Group A. Finland plays fourth place Germany in the other important Group A game, so the most likely outcome is the Finns winning the group.
- Sweden is second in Group B (behind Russia) and plays Russia on Tuesday, while the Czechs sit third (ahead of Switzerland) and plays Switzerland on Tuesday. The Swedes can pass Russia with a win (and Switzerland can pass the Czech Republic).
In other words, there’s still a good amount at stake and no match-up is definitively off the table right now.