Were down to the last days of preliminary action at the men’s World Hockey Championships in Riga, Latvia. Day 11 had four games so let’s recap them!
Game one was in Group A between the Czech Republic and Demark. This one was low-scoring and took overtime and a shootout to decide a winner. Denmark took an early 1-0 lead and it took until the beginning of the third period for the Czech Republic to tie it up. Neither team could push ahead in the final 15 minutes which sent the game to a scoreless overtime and then a shootout. The Czech Republic scored a goal in overtime but it was called back because the play was offside. They made up for it in the shootout and the Czech Republic took the game 2-1.
The first Group B game of the day was between the USA and Germany. The game remained scoreless for almost two full periods but Jason Robertson gave the USA the lead with just over one minute remaining in the second period. Germany pushed to try and tie it but they came up short and Colin Blackwell scored on the empty net to secure a 2-0 win for the USA.
The next game of the day also went to a shootout. Russia and Sweden kept their game tight and required extra time to find a winner. Much the first Group A game of the day, this one had Sweden take an early lead and then no other goals until the third period. The teams exchanged goals and were tied at two after 60 minutes. Overtime didn’t solve anything which meant a shootout was next. Russia came out on top and won the game 3-2.
The final game of the day was between Group B’s Kazakhstan and Norway. While Kazakhstan scored to go ahead in the first period, their offence stopped there. Norway scored three unanswered goals to win the game 3-1.
Day 12 will be the last day of the preliminary round action. There are six games on the schedule, many of which have implications for the standings heading into the quarter-finals. In Group A, Switzerland will play Great Britain followed by Slovakia and the Czech Republic. Russia and Belarus will round out the day for Group A. On the Group B side, the day will open with Canada and Finland, followed by Italy and the USA and then Germany and Latvia to end the day.
Be sure to come back to Unbenched Sports 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.