After an exciting day three, the IIHF Men’s World Championships was back in action on Monday. Day four of the tournament saw four games on the docket.
The first game of the day saw Slovakia taking on Russia in Group A action. The undefeated Slovaks were looking for their third straight victory against Russia in the first group A game of the day. The two undefeated squads were fighting for first place in Group A. After a fast-paced and entertaining match-up, Slovakia came out on top. Milos Kelemen, Martin Gernat, and Marek Daloga scored for Slovakia to give them a 3-1 victory over the 2-1 Russians. Monday’s victory was Slovakia’s first victory against a Russian squad since 2004.
In Group B action, the host team, Latvia, was looking for their 2nd win of the tournament. After a shootout loss to Kazakhstan on Saturday, Latvia was looking to continue their successful tournament with a win over Italy, who was also coming off of a loss. The host’s came out flying over the Italians and sailed to a 3-0 victory.
The Czech squad was looking for their regulation-time victory. After loosing to Switzerland on Saturday, the Czech squad came out flying against the high-flying Belarus squad. The two teams were so equally matched that regulation time was not enough time to decide a victor. With only 3 minutes and 30 seconds left in the overtime frame, Chicago Blackhawks’ Dominik Kubalik scored in overtime to give the Czech’s the win.
After two disappointing showings by the Canadian squad, the Canadians were looking for their first victory against Germany. Germany was coming off of a 5-1 victory over Norway and Canada coming off their 5-1 lost to the Americans. Stefan Loibl, Korbinian Holzer, and Matthias Plachta all scored for Germany to give the German squad a 3-1 victory over the Canadians. Canada has never suffered from 3 straight losses in a World Championship prior to this year while Germany is looking for it’s first World’s medal in the 21st century. To add onto the hurt for the Canadian side, Monday’s victory for Germany was the first time they have beat a Canadian squad since 1996 breaking a Canadian 10-game Worlds winning streak against the Germans. Despite outshooting their opponents, Canada has not had much luck scoring. With that being said, Canada’s playoff hopes are slowly dwindling if they do not find a way to win.
Tuesday will see 4 games taking place in Riga. In Group A action, Great Britain takes on Denmark, and Switzerland facing off against Sweden. In Group B action, the undefeated Kazakhstan squad takes on the 1-1 United States squad, and Finland looking for a win against Norway.
Be sure to come back to Unbenched following each day of the IIHF Men’s World Championship to read the Riga Recaps and get all of the details about the previous day’s action in Latvia.