World Hockey Championship Roundup: Do Or Die

The final day of the round robin means that teams had one last chance to make the medal round. Meanwhile, Denmark and Austria were battling just to make next year’s championship.

Group E: Sweden 6 vs. France 3 – It took them until their sixth game of the tournament but France finally woke up. The French scored three goals in the second period but it was only enough to pull them within two goals of the Swedes. Sweden was in control of the game from the start and cruised to a birth in the medal round. Sweden got a goal and assist from Johnny Oduya, Marcus Nilson, and Kristian Huselius while Anton Stralman chipped in with a pair of helpers. While the French will not see medal round action, the Swedes will with their quarter-final game against the Czech Republic.

Group E: Switzerland 4 vs. USA 3 (OT) – They won but it was a hollow victory. The Swiss needed a regulation win over the USA to advance to the medal round but it wasn’t to be. The Americans scored three goals in the second period that the Swiss could catch but not best over 60 minutes. The Swiss led after the first but ran into penalty trouble that they couldn’t fight out of. The Americans were led by Ron Hainsey who had a pair of power play goals. The Swiss had four different goal scorers who each scored at around the midpoint of each period in regulation. Robert Wick scored the overtime winner 13 seconds into the extra frame. The overtime loss means that the Americans finished third in their group and will face Finland in the quarter-finals.

Group E Final Standings
1. Russia 4-1-0-0, 14 Pts.
2. Sweden 2-1-2-0, 10 Pts.
3. USA 2-0-2-1, 8 Pts.
4. Latvia 1-2-0-2, 7 Pts.
5. Switzerland 1-1-1-2, 6 Pts.
6. France 0-0-0-5, 0 Pts.
(Standings include all games against Group E opponents including games played in the preliminary round. Top four teams advance to the medal round.)

Group F: Slovakia 3 vs. Norway 2 (OT) – It’s been a hard tournament for these two teams. So hard that this game was just for pride with no medal round implications. Both teams fought hard but in the end, it was Slovakia getting the win on a Ladislav Nagy power play goal two minutes into overtime. The Slovaks got out front with two first period goals but the Norwegians scored a goal in the second and third periods to even things going into overtime. Nagy led the Slovaks offensively with a goal and assist while the Norwegians were led by Lars Erik Lund who also had a goal and a helper. Jaroslav Halak recovered from yesterday’s smack in the back of the head with a 25 save performance. Neither team will advance to the medal round but will be at next year’s world championships.

Group F: Finland 4 vs. Canada 3 (SO) – Another game where the win meant nothing. Finland had to win in regulation to finish the qualification round in first place in Group F. They led the Canadians the whole way but a stellar 50 save performance by Dwayne Roloson and a two goal performance by Dany Heatley shattered the Fins dreams. The game ended in a shootout that went seven rounds making it the longest of the tournament so far. Jarkko Ruutu and Martin St. Louis were their sides’ shootout heroes, each scored on two of three attempts. In the end, Hannes Hyvonen beat Roloson five-hole and Steve Stamkos could not match for Canada. Both teams advance to the quarter-finals with Canada facing Latvia while Finland will face the USA.

Group F Final Standings
1. Canada 4-0-1-0, 13 Pts.
2. Finland 2-2-1-0, 11 Pts.
3. Czech Republic 3-0-0-2, 9 Pts.
4. Belarus 0-3-0-2, 6 Pts.
5. Slovakia 0-1-2-2, 4 Pts.
6. Norway 0-0-2-3, 2 Pts.
(Standings include all games against Group F opponents including games played in the preliminary round. Top four teams advance to the medal round.)

Group G: Germany 2 vs. Hungary 1 – While the score might have been close, that was the only thing about this game that was close. From start to finish, Germany outplayed the Hungarians en route to their only win of the tournament. If not for a superb 41 save effort by Zoltan Hetenyi, this would have been an utter drubbing. Moritz Muller and Michael Bakos scored for Germany while Andras Horvath scored the lone Hungarian marker. Despite their final standing, Germany will be in next year’s world championship because they are the host nation. Hungary is relegated from top level play and will play in the 2010 Division 1 championship looking for a birth in the 2011 world championship.

Group G: Denmark 5 vs. Austria 2 – It was a winner take all game to qualify for next year’s world championship and Denmark sure showed it. The Danes scored five unanswered to come back from 2-0 down to win the game and punch a ticket to the 2010 championships in Germany. The Austrians got off to a blistering start with two goals in the first 2:30 of the game and making it look as if a rout was in progress. From there Danish goalie Patrick Galbraith shut the door making 33 saves to earn the win. Offensively the Danes were led by Mikkel Bodker who had two goals and Julian Jakobson had a goal and assist. With the loss, Austria is relegated to Division 1 and will have to requalify for the 2011 championships through that.

Group G Final Standings
1. Denmark 3-0-0-0, 9 Pts.
2. Austria 2-0-0-1, 6 Pts.
3. Germany 1-0-0-2, 3 Pts.
4. Hungary 0-0-0-3, 0 Pts.
(Bottom two teams, excluding Germany, do not qualify for 2010 World Hockey Championship.)

Three Stars of the Day:
1. Ron Hainsey (USA) – 2 goals
2. Mikkel Bodker (Denmark) – 2 goals
3. Dwayne Roloson (Canada) – 50 saves

Wednesday’s Schedule:
Russia vs. Belarus
Finland vs. USA

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