2017 IIHF World Championship Report (Day 12)

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The round robin is over as Day 12 marked the end of the first part of the tournament leaving only eight teams left to compete for the gold medals.

It also left two teams sitting at the bottom of the standings as they failed to make any movement throughout the first round.

The relegated teams are not a massive surprise but it is a disappointment as Italy and Slovenia have found themselves at the bottom.

Both teams were back in the tournament for the first time in a few years but neither could solidify their spot in the top tier.

After only one tournament both will head back to Division I-A where they will attempt to find their way back to the top tier once again.

The relegation wasn’t necessarily a massive surprise as these two teams were fighting an uphill battle, to begin with, and now they will remain in the same situation.

There were some surprises in the battle for the playoffs though as the fight to earn one of the eight spots involved teams that not many expected.

That included the two home teams that were fighting until the final days to find their spots in the playoffs and extend their time in front of their home crowds.

Germany and France were giving other teams fits and gave their home crowds something to cheer about.

The French couldn’t quite make it as they were eliminated a few days before the tournament began but they had a good round robin.

The Germans had one last chance as they took on the Latvians in their final game of the round robin.

A win in that game would bring them to the playoffs while a loss would eliminate ending their tournament and leaving both hosts out of the playoffs.

The Germans and the Latvians were both hoping to be that last team in after both had impressive round robins up until the final day.

The Germans took the final game in a shootout and earned their spot in the playoffs as the German fans that have come out in droves to see their team play in Cologne.

They won’t necessarily have the same support as they travel to Paris for their quarter-final game but the German fans will be there.

They will continue to cheer on their team as the Germans were the last team in and will be a fan favourite as they continue their pursuit of a medal.

Beyond the Germans, there aren’t a lot of surprises as the top teams made their way to the playoffs once again.

Group A began the tournament with three teams that were expected to make their way to the playoffs and potentially compete for the medals this year.

All three were the first to clinch their spots although the final day did provide some surprise at the top of the group.

The Americans ended up beating the Russians on the final day and after USA started so poorly they took the top spot in the group.

The Russians ended up second after that loss, which ended up being their first of the tournament.hockey-sidebar

It wasn’t exactly what they expected heading into the tournament as the favourites to compete for a gold medal but they are still in the hunt for that gold after finishing second.

The Swedes are in third after a tournament that did not go their way from the start but the talent level on the team lifted them to the playoffs regardless of some poor performances.

Germany rounded out the group after their final win in what was expected to be the only spot available with the top three teams in the group.

In Group B the Canadians finished off their round robin with a win over the Finns in what was supposed to be a battle for the top spot but turned out to be no big deal.

They didn’t end the round robin perfectly after a shocking loss to the Swiss but they were still the class of the group for another year.

The Swiss win against the Canadians set them up for a final game that would determine their positioning.

The Swiss won another big game giving them second place and a better match-up in the quarter-finals while the Czechs will get a tough game against the Russians.

The final spot was a little up in the air as the Finns, who were expected to compete for the top spot, had to win or get some help to claim their playoff spot.

They couldn’t get the win over Canada but Belarus was able to beat Norway clinching the spot for Finland and giving them a second chance to restart.

The playoffs are going to be interesting as the Canadians and Russians could continue their expected climb but there are other teams that could challenge them.


Day 12:
Sweden 4-2 Slovakia
– The Swedes didn’t start the tournament in the best way but they found a way to the playoffs and will hope that their win on the final day of the round-robin can translate into success in the playoffs

Belarus 4-3 Norway
– Norway had a chance even if it was a slim chance to make the playoffs if they could win this game in regular time they would tie the Finns and hope that a Finnish loss and the tiebreakers could help them but they couldn’t beat Belarus and were eliminated

USA 5-3 Russia
– The Russians were on their way to a successful round robin without a loss while the Americans were recovering from a slow start and the momentum gained by the Americans helped them out in this game as they took the win and first place in the group

Switzerland 3-1 Czech Republic
– It wasn’t as dire as lose and you’re out but with the Russian loss the loser of this game was set to face off against a constant tournament favourite which turned out to be the Czechs who will play Russia while the Swiss took second and will take on Sweden

Germany 4-3 Latvia (SO)
– It was the last chance for both of these teams and the home crowd was behind the Germans helping them to a big win that clinched a playoff spot to continue their tournament while the Latvians couldn’t capitalise on a great start

Canada 5-2 Finland
– This was supposed to be the biggest game of the group but the Finns weren’t up to their usual standards all tournament and showed it in their final game as the Canadians easily got past them ensuring a recovery from their first loss


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