2016 IIHF World Championship Report (Day 5)

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The IIHF is full of different teams from the top in the world to the teams struggling just to stay in the top division.

Every year the competition comes around again and every year the battle between these teams reaches a divide.

There are the great teams with deep pools of talent to pick from as they create essentially all-star teams.

These teams compete at the top level and usually fight for medals when the tournament is finished.

There is the other level of teams though with a few good players but nowhere near the depth of talent.

These teams truly require their best players to participate in every tournament as they don’t have a huge number of stars to bring to the tournament.

These teams could be considered the second tier of teams and although they don’t fight for medals they still have plenty to fight for.

Every one of the teams is fighting for a chance to play in the playoffs and even more importantly trying to stay in the top division.

This year that battle seems to be getting better as there are more teams fighting for those last spots in the playoffs.

Many of those teams were on display in Day 5 as none of the major teams were in action.

For most the day wouldn’t be all that important as these teams were not necessarily the ones to watch in the tournament but for those teams this day was vital.

This was the day they had the chance to make an impact on the tournament and beat teams that would be competing with them.

Generally, these teams get a rough start to their tournament as they have to face those great teams.

It can be a pretty disheartening start as many of the second tier teams take some bad losses to the better teams in the tournament.

In what is essentially warm-up games for the top teams, these first games don’t start those second tier teams off too well.

Then they start to reach teams at the same level though and those games become interesting.

While many of these teams won’t necessarily fight for a medal these games become important in the playoff hunt.

In Day 5 of the tournament these games started and teams looking for a playoff spot tried to get a very important win.hockey-sidebar

In Group A, the top teams are holding the top three spots but there is plenty of room in the fourth spot where Denmark was sitting heading into Day 5.

Not too far behind them was Switzerland and the Swiss got a chance to take on the Danes in what was an important game to get ahead of each other in the playoff race.

The Swiss came out on top but in overtime as they took an important win in the playoff hunt.

Another game in the playoff hunt for Group A ended with Norway beating Kazakhstan and earning an important three points that also helped with the overtime game.

In Group B, the two best teams were sitting on top in fairly comfortable positions after three straight wins.

Slovakia though was holding the third spot and took on the Germans who were just outside of the playoffs.

The Germans took the win and moved closer to their goal of a playoff spot while they reduced the chances of the Slovaks maintaining their playoffs spot.

France did the same when they beat Hungary as they now sit in that final playoff spot with four games left.

Day 5 might not have featured some of the biggest names and the biggest teams but there is little doubt that it was important.

The second tier teams that will be fighting for a chance at the playoffs considered this a very important day and will look back on it when the playoff spots are determined.

There is still plenty of tournament to go and anything can happen for the rest of the time but these teams need these wins in order to have that shot at a medal that every team wants.

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Day 5:
Switzerland 3-2 Denmark (OT)
– The Swiss entered the game not having the best start to their tournament while Denmark was having the opposite experience but in this game, it was the Swiss who came through grabbing two points in the overtime win

Germany 5-1 Slovakia
– Germany was struggling into Day 5 with some tough losses but they surprised everyone when they beat the Slovaks who had been playing well throughout the tournament but didn’t put up much of a fight against the Germans

Norway 4-2 Kazakhstan
– Kazakhstan had already surprised most people in the tournament as they have risen fast through the rankings but the Norwegians put a dent in their plans with a big win that is sure to help them get closer to the playoffs

France 6-2 Hungary
– The Hungarians entered another game just hoping to grab a point that could help them stay in the top division but the French had other plans taking the win and moving into a playoff spot after three games

Day 6:
Switzerland vs. Latvia (Wednesday, May 11th; 9:15 am ET)
– The Swiss look to be back on track and they will face the Latvians who have already taken on their toughest challenges and done well with their final stretch in sight where they hope to get some big wins against the second tier teams

Slovakia vs. Belarus (Wednesday, May 11th; 9:15 am ET)
– The Slovaks were on track for a good year but a bad loss to Germany has upset their plans as they enter another game hoping to get back on track against Belarus who are just looking to get their first points of the tournament

Sweden vs. Kazakhstan (Wednesday, May 11th; 1:15 pm ET)
– The Swedes get back to action against Kazakhstan where they hope to get another win in their pursuit of first place in Group A while Kazakhstan tries to find their way to another win in the pursuit of a playoff spot

Finland vs. Hungary (Wednesday, May 11th; 1:15 pm ET)
– The Finns have looked great all tournament and they head into what should be an easy game against the winless Hungarians who are just looking for a point to try to stay out of relegation this year

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