2016 IIHF World Championship Report (Day 9)

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The World Championship is a massive tournament around the world and one that is far bigger than most people might understand.

There are hockey teams in every corner of the world and all have their chance and earning some glory in the international game.

When talking about the World Championship most are simply talking about the best in the world.

The eight teams in the top division that are currently fighting for the World Championship in Russia.

The actual World Championships are far deeper with a total of six divisions of hockey being played throughout the year.

Teams from Afghanistan to Mexico are involved in these tournaments throughout the year and all are looking for the all-important promotion.

That is the system that dominates international hockey as the six levels of the game see the possibility for movement up through the different levels until reaching the top division.

Of course with that ability to move up, there is also the possibility of a team moving down as every year the bottom teams at each level move to the lower division for the previous year.

Between the top division and the second tier, Division I-A, the pattern is seeing a handful of teams regularly make the jump and be relegated.

Many of the teams see the top division as an accomplishment but staying there is not much of a possibility when they take on the best teams in the world.

Although most of these teams never enter the top division and fight for a medal they do have a big fight on their hands.

They fight to stay in that top division which is essentially fighting for the development of hockey throughout their country.

The better a team plays the more attention they get and that brings more fans out which will hopefully bring more people to the game.

Moving up the rankings helps teams develop their home-grown talent and so for many teams their goal is simply to get to the top division and stay there for more than one tournament at a time.

Both Kazakhstan and Hungary were in that situation this year as they were the top two teams in Division I-A last year and received promotions to the top division.

They started the tournament knowing that they were in tough against good teams but a couple of key wins could get them enough points to stay out of the bottom of their groups.

With Italy and Slovenia ready to take their spots next year both Kazakhstan and Hungary were looking for some points.hockey-sidebar

Neither had started their tournament too well with Hungary sitting with no wins and Kazakhstan had taken two points but had fallen to the bottom of their group.

Now they were fighting to move out of that last place spot and in Day 9 they both got that chance.

In Group A, Kazakhstan was taking on one of the only teams that they were fighting to avoid relegation in Latvia.

The winner of the game was likely to stay out of the last place and avoid relegation while the loser had a good chance of moving to the second division.

The Latvians took the win in a tight game giving them plenty of insurance and ensuring that Kazakhstan finishes last in Group A as they return to Division I-A next year.

In Group B, the Hungarians were trying to get their first win of the tournament against the Belarusians in what would be their only chance to avoid relegation.

A loss ensured their move down while a win gave them a chance to stay in the top division.

It was another close fight but the Hungarians came out on top for their first win in the top division in over 70 years.

The win gives them a good chance to stay in the top division while dropping Belarus to the bottom and giving them a good chance of falling out of the top division.

Each has a game left and those results will be important but Hungary took advantage of their chance and now could spend next year in the same division.

Relegation continues to be a massive part of the world championship and this year two more teams came into the top division with an eye on staying there while only one still has a chance.

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Day 9:
Sweden 3-2 Norway
– It wasn’t the most convincing win for the Swedes but they took the win anyway making their chances of getting into the playoffs a lot more likely while Norway took the loss and hurt their chances of making the playoffs

Finland 3-1 France
– The Finns have been one of the best teams throughout the tournament and they continued to take wins despite not having the best performance against France as the French fought but couldn’t get the win and moved further from the playoffs

Russia 5-1 Switzerland
– The Russians were looking for their reinforcements to get another win in a strong continuation of their tournament as Ovechkin and Kuznetsov both put up points in their first game helping the home team to another win

Hungary 5-2 Belarus
–  It was the first time since 1939 that the Hungarians took a win in the top division of the tournament and they picked a good time as they were able to take the win and move ahead of Belarus to stay out of relegation for now

Latvia 2-1 Kazakhstan
– Kazakhstan had one chance to stay out of relegation but they couldn’t get it done as Latvia took the win and ensured their spot in the top division for next year while Kazakhstan will be moving to Division I-A next year

Canada 5-0 Slovakia
– Slovakia had always been a test for the Canadians but this year it wasn’t the same as the Canadians took and easy win to continue their winning streak with two games left before the playoffs

Day 10:
Denmark vs. Czech Republic (Sunday, May 15th; 9:15 am ET)
– The Czechs only have a few games left and they are hoping to win all of them to remain undefeated this year while the Danes continue to look for a playoff spot in what is becoming a tighter race as the days go one

Germany vs. USA (Sunday, May 15th; 9:15 pm ET)
– Germany has not had a consistent run through the tournament but they are still in a spot where they can take a playoff spot but they will need to get some points to ensure that spot as they take on the USA who are looking better as the tournament moves on

Switzerland vs. Sweden (Sunday, May 15th; 1:15 pm ET)
– Sweden has looked great and just ok in many of their games but they are trying to find that consistency that can get them a medal and they will try to find it against the Swiss as the round robin closes out

Slovakia vs. Finland (Sunday, May 15th; 1:15 am ET)
– Finland has looked like one of the best teams this year but they are in a tight battle with the Canadians and they will look to keep up against a team that the Canadians had little problem with while Slovakia tries to keep u in the playoff race

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