With the Qualifying & Relegation Rounds about to wrap up tomorrow at the Ice Hockey World Championships. Here's an update of where we are as we get ready for the Quarterfinals which are on May 20.
Group E Action
3 of the 4 Quarterfinal spots have been clinched Russia with their offensive superstars with players like Alexander Ovechkin and Ilya Kovalchuk have got them leading Group E and looking strong towards a 3rd straight World Championship Gold Medal, 2nd Round wins over Denmark and Germany has them at 4-0-0-0 and with a win over Finland tomorrow, would clinch the top spot for the Quarterfinals which would get them a matchup with either the Czech Republic, Norway or Latvia who are in a big battle for the 4th and final Quarterfinal Spot in Group F.
Denmark has been this year's big surprise which have included a 6-0 win over Slovakia plus strong wins over Finland and the USA in this year's tournament which have them in the last 8 for the first time ever in the current format.
With a strong and growing group of players in the Swedish Elitsern, plus NHL'ers Peter Regin, Frans Nielsen plus a couple of strong prospects in Lars Eller with the Peoria Rivermen and Philip Larsen who's with the Dallas Stars org.
This is a team that is looking to finish off what's been a disappointing international season by not promoting to the WJC & U18 World Championships, plus not making the Olympic Tournament as well, when they got beat arch rival Norway in the Final Round of Olympic Qualifiers last season. Despite a rough showing against Russia, a win against Denmark could possibly get them a 2nd seed and an improved shot of pulling off a Quarterfinal Upset.
Here's a look at the current Group E standings through 5/17
1. Russia 4-0-0-0 12 PTS 15-6
2. Finland 3-0-0-1 9 PTS 11-6
3. Denmark 2-0-0-2 6 PTS 12-10
4. Germany 1-0-1-2 4 PTS 6-7
5. Slovakia 1-0-0-3 3 PTS 7-16
6. Belarus 0-1-0-3 2 PTS 5-11
Clinched Quarterfinals Spot
Eliminated from Quarterfinal Contention
Group E Schedule
5/14: Slovakia 0 Denmark 6 (0-6, 0-0, 0-0)
5/14: Finland 2 Belarus 0 (0-0, 2-0, 0-0)
5/15: Russia 3 Germany 2 (1-0, 1-1, 1-1)
5/16: Denmark 1 Russia 6 (0-2, 1-1, 0-3)
5/16: Germany 1 Belarus 2 (OT) (0-1, 0-0, 1-0, 0-1)
5/17: Finland 5 Slovakia 2 (0-0, 3-0, 2-2)
5/17: Belarus 2 Denmark 1 (0-1, 1-0, 1-0)
5/18: Slovakia VS. Germany
5/18: Russia VS. Finland
Group F Update
Despite Switzerland losing the 1st Game of the Qualifying Round, this Swiss team is finally capable of breaking through to win their first major international medal as Switzerland, Sweden and Canada in a battle for the top spot of Group F.
Switzerland's chances took a hit today as Norway a close game 3-2 as the Norwegians came out swinging for 3 goals in the 1st period to go up 3-1, despite a goal early in the 3rd period, Switzerland has been very dangerous by beating Canada in the 1st round and a win over the Czechs in the 2nd Round.
In the other end of the 2nd Round, the battle will comedown to Norway and the Czech Republic as a Latvian Loss pretty much ended their chances with a 3-1 loss in a game that just ended a little while ago.
Norway helped their chances and upped their record to 2-2 with a 3-2 win over Switzerland with a 3 goal 1st period. Norway will have to hold their breath and hope that Canada beat the Czechs as both teams are currently at 6 points in the standings.
The final day of the 2nd Round will have Canada VS. Czech Republic and Sweden against Switzerland which should determine who gets the top spot. The Group Winner will play either Germany or Slovakia as they will play tomorrow.
Here's a look at the current standings through 5/17
1. Sweden 3-0-0-1 9 PTS 13-7
2. Switzerland 3-0-0-1 9 PTS 12-6
3. Canada 2-0-0-2 6 PTS 20-9
4. Czech Rep. 2-0-0-2 6 PTS 9-7
5. Norway 2-0-0-3 6 PTS 9-26
6. Latvia 1-0-0-4 3 PTS 12-16
Clinched Quarterfinal Spots
Eliminated from Quarterfinal Contention
After losing 2 games in OT during the Prelim Round, the Americans are looking to use their frustration to recover from the bad 1st Round. So far, they have done that with shutouts wins over Kazakhstan (10-0) and France (4-0) as the Americans pretty much gotten themselves out of the Relegation Trouble. As for the race to avoid relegation.
Kazakhstan is pretty much doomed with a 10-0 loss and a 2-1 loss to Italy. As for the other spot, it comes down to Italy & France as the two 1-1 teams. France has the advantage as they have already played the Americans. Italy plays the USA tomorrow as Italy's hopes come down to goaltender David Bellissimmo as he has kept the Italians in a majority of the games in this tournament, he will have to bring his A game and then some to keep the Americans from running up the score and sending them down to the DIV. 1 Tournament for next year.
Relegation Round Standings as of 5/17
1. USA 2-0-0-0 6 PTS 14-0
2. Italy 1-0-0-1 3 PTS 3-3
3. France 1-0-0-1 3 PTS 2-4
4. Kazakhstan 0-0-0-2 0 PTS 2-11
Kept their spot for the 2011 IHWC Tournament.
Relegation Round Schedule
5/15: USA 10 Kazakhstan 0 (4-0, 5-0, 1-0)
5/15: Italy 1 France 2 (0-1, 0-0, 1-1)
5/16: France 0 USA 4 (0-0, 0-2, 0-2)
5/16: Italy 2 Kazakhstan 1 (0-0, 0-0, 2-1)
5/18: USA VS. Italy
5/18: Kazakhstan VS. France
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