2017 IIHF World Championship Report (Day 6)

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Midway through the World Championships and things are working themselves out with some surprising results.

There is still a lot of hockey to be played in the tournament and nothing is set in stone as teams could easily go from first to worst and the reverse.

As of right now, the best teams in the world that were expected to do well are mostly meeting their expectations.

Canada and Russia continue to be on a collision course that started before the tournament even began.

They are considered the two best teams in the world and so far they have proven it more often than not.

The Canadians entered their second day off with an undefeated record while only allowing three goals all tournament.

They will get back to it on Day 7 when they take on France hoping to remain undefeated as they try to separate themselves from the rest of the pack.

Russia did have a bit of a trip-up in their first game when the Swedes pushed them to overtime taking one point away.

They did take the win in the shootout though and have not lost a game yet in the round robin as they continue to dominate the other teams.

These teams aren’t surprising everyone and so far there have been no surprises at their expense keeping things fairly steady for both teams.

The same can’t be said below them though as teams are all over the map in both groups surprising a lot of people.

In Group A, the Americans struggled at the start of their tournament forcing them to play catch-up so far.

They are starting to turn things around now and after a win against Italy on Day 6 they are moving up the ranks.

A big win against Sweden certainly helped them but they are already playing from behind and need to continue their rise to make it through.

Sweden has already lost two of its games and both were extremely important but without those wins, they will be forced to sit in the bottom half of the playoff teams, as long as they can get wins against the smaller teams.

Meanwhile, Latvia is taking over the group as the only team to go undefeated so far in Group A.hockey-sidebar

That undefeated status is usually reserved for one of the other three big names in that group but so far they have risen to the top.

Latvia has its toughest games ahead of them as they must take on the big three in their group but in beating most of the other teams they have positioned themselves well.

They are also the upset kings and taking out one of those top three is not entirely unbelievable from a team that consistently rises to the occasion against the best teams in the world.

If Latvia can get a win it could leave the Germans, Slovakians, and Danes out of the equation while Italy still struggles to find a win at this year’s tournament.

In Group B, the French are shaking things up after performing above what most expected of them.

After losing to Norway in their opening game it was expected that the French wouldn’t be putting up much of a fight.

Then they went on to beat Finland and Switzerland to help them truly get into the fight for a playoff spot.

They are far from guaranteed a spot but with only one game against a truly dominant team, there is some hope that the host country and have one of the greatest tournaments in French hockey history.

Their rise has been directly a result of the failure of Finland to put up much of a fight this year.

They have struggled every step of the way as the team that has consistently earned medals at every level is no longer the dominant group that many thought.

They were supposed to face off with Canada in the last game that would have been a battle for first place.

Now they are just fighting to get into a playoff spot with only one win in three games so far this year.

The good news for the struggling teams, and not so good for the over-performing teams, is that there is a lot of tournament left.

The teams struggling still have room to make their way up to a playoff spot while the teams that are surprisingly good have time to come down to earth.

It is sure to be an interesting second half as the World Championships could see a few new faces and all hockey fans should welcome that.

day-6

Day 6:
USA 3-0 Italy
– The Americans continue their comeback tour after dropping their first game to the Germans this year as they easily got through the Italians who were just trying to find another point but couldn’t do it this time around

Switzerland 3-0 Belarus
– After a tough shootout loss to the French a day before the Swiss were coming out with something to prove and they did that taking another win while keeping the Belarusians without a point this year

Germany 3-2 Slovakia (SO)
– The Germans gave their fans more reason to cheer in Day 10 as they took another win to continue their pursuit of the playoffs beating the Slovakians in a shootout and earning two points

Finland 5-2 Slovenia
– The Finns are in a situation where every game gives them a chance to prove that they are not entirely collapsing this year and they proved that in this game beating the Slovenians how most people believed they should

Day 7:
Russia vs. Denmark (Thursday, May 11th; 10:15 am ET)
– After a day off the Russians get back to it looking to remain one of the few undefeated teams this year as they take on Denmark who would love nothing more than to inch even further away from relegation with a point

Czech Republic vs. Norway (Thursday, May 11th; 10:15 am ET)
– Norway wasn’t expected to rise as high as they have in the tournament but the Czechs will look to bring them down to earth as they look to move ahead in the standings and closer to that playoff spot

Sweden vs. Latvia (Thursday, May 11th; 2:15 pm ET)
– It is the first major test for the Latvians who have gone undefeated so far this year as they take on the Swedes who on paper are a more talented team but have struggled with some consistency this year

Canada vs. France (Thursday, May 11th; 2:15 pm ET)
– There is a long-standing connection between these two countries as French Canadians still make up a big chunk of Canadian hockey talent but that connection means little as both teams look for the win with the French trying to launch the biggest upset of the tournament

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