2017 IIHF World Championship Report (Day 9)

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It was an important day in the tournament for a few teams as the tournament is coming to an end and a number of teams are just fighting for their lives in this top tier.

At the start of the tournament, there was plenty of talk about the teams coming up into the top tier next year.

The Koreans will be making their debut alongside the Austrians who found their way back to the top tier of the tournament.

With those teams coming into the tournament two teams need to give up their spots and the battle for relegation is often the most important every year.

Winning gold is a big thing for a lot of teams and for the development of their programs but there is nothing more important to many teams than staying in the top tier.

Being a part of the best of the best ensures that the team continues to get a certain level of funding in most countries.

It also is a chance for the country to showcase what it has on the biggest stage and when they are put on that big stage more people notice.

The more people that notice them playing the more likely it is that potential stars see them and see that hockey is a great option.

It can help in recruitment of future players and current players who want to play in the big tournaments.

It can make a massive difference for the countries especially those countries that are smaller than the big powers.

For these teams, their goal in the tournament is always to stay in that top tier and remain among the best teams in the world.

Every team wants that gold medal but realistically there are still only a few teams that can compete for that gold medal.

The rest are looking to find a playoff spot or to simply avoid ending up as one of the bottom two teams in the standings.

If they end their tournament there they will begin preparing for a different tournament that is simply not as big and not as visible.

It is possible that they quickly find their way back from that but it is not a guarantee as some teams continue to mull around in the Division I-A looking for their way back.

Some teams spend years moving in and out of the two divisions never finding a foothold but they are always looking to spend their time in that top tier and beginning to develop.

It is hard to develop when they are just fighting to get to the top tier of the tournament.hockey-sidebar

So far this year there are a few teams staring at relegation throughout the round robin and hoping not to stay there.

The Italians were finally back in the top tier after a few years trying to get back to the top tier.

They got here but so far they haven’t been able to find their spot in the top tier as they have only earned one point throughout the round robin.

That single point has kept them fairly alone at the bottom of Group A but their one point is also keeping them with a small chance to stay.

Ahead of them is Slovakia and Denmark who both have 4 points so far this year and if Italy can win their final game they could move ahead of either of the teams.

If both of those two teams can win one of their final two games the Italians will be moved to the bottom of the group and into the second tier of the tournament.

The battle has been a little more interesting in Group B where it looked like Belarus was headed for relegation easily.

They struggled to earn any points throughout the tournament but in Day 8 they were able to get their first.

That led to a tie with another team that had just found their way to the top tier of the World Championship in Slovenia.

It led to a big day in Day 9 as Belarus and Slovenia were set to face off with the winner guaranteed to take the advantage in their battle.

It wasn’t necessarily going to guarantee that they stay in the top tier but it was going to give them a leg up in the competition.

That game ended with Belarus on top as they took the three points and moved three points ahead of Slovenia.

There isn’t much time for Slovenia to attempt to comeback either as they only have one more game and if they don’t win they will be headed back to Division I-A.

The battle to stay out of relegation continues and for the teams in the fight, it is a very important one.

They are looking to help grow their programs and the best way to do that is to find their way to the top tier and stay there to compete with the best in the world.

day-9

Day 9:
USA 5-3 Latvia
– The Latvians are struggling through the toughest part of their scheduled suffering their second straight loss and losing momentum as they attempt to make the playoffs this year but need to take a win soon to ensure their spot

Finland 3-2 Norway (OT)
– It still wasn’t convincing for the Finns but they did get two important points as the team that was supposed to compete for the top spot is now just fighting to stay in the playoffs against the team they just beat

Russia 6-0 Slovakia
– Russia is only getting stronger as the tournament goes on and they left no doubt against the Slovakians easily beating a team that is trying to gain some extra advantage in their pursuit of remaining in the top tier

Belarus 5-2 Slovenia
– This was a very important game that was going to be a massive difference in both team’s efforts to stay out of relegation and it was the Belarusians who took advantage earning the points they need to move ahead

Germany 4-1 Italy
– Germany continued their run towards the playoffs as they took an important win against the Italians who couldn’t earn a point and got closer to relegation because of it while the Germans kept their playoff hopes alive with three big points

Switzerland 3-2 Canada (OT)
– The Canadians were the most dominant team in the tournament heading into Day 9 as they had yet to lose but they failed to continue that run as the Swiss gave them everything they could handle and ended their win streak in overtime

Day 10:
Slovakia vs. USA (Sunday, May 14th; 10:15 am ET)
– Slovakia is running out of time to get an important win that will at least keep them in the top tier and they will be in tough to get that win against an American team that is getting stronger as the tournament continues

France vs. Czech Republic (Sunday, May 14th; 10:15 am ET)
– The French are still in this thing as they still have a chance to make the playoffs in front of their home crowd and winning this game against the Czechs would do a lot to get them there in their biggest game of the tournament

Denmark vs. Sweden (Sunday, May 14th; 2:15 pm ET)
– For Denmark, this game could make a big difference as they can control their future with a big win against the swedes ensuring their spot in the top tier for another year while the Swedes just try to continue their momentum

Switzerland vs. Finland (Sunday, May 14th; 2:15 pm ET)
– This was supposed to be the toughest part of the tournament for the Swiss but after beating the Canadians they will hope to ride the momentum into beating the Finns who have not been their usual dominance selves this year

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