Group A Preliminary Games
Slovakia is coming off of the biggest upset of the tournament when they beat the Americans on Thursday night. They now control their own destiny and another upset against Finland could get them into second place in the group, pending other results. Roman Durny was outstanding for the Slovaks, and likely has earned himself another shot. For Finland, Canadiens prospect Joni Ikonen has one assist in two games and is averaging 16:40 per game. Henri Jokiharju has two goals and one assist in two games to lead Finland. The game will be shown on TSN 1/4/5 and RDS in Canada and NHL Network in the USA.
Canada is looking to bounce back after their tough outdoor loss to the United States in a shootout and could clinch Group A with a win against Denmark. It may be a potential trap game for Canada, but they still have something to play for. Unlike the last time they lost in a shootout to the Americans, there are more games to play. For Denmark, Slovakia’s win against the USA hurt them the most as their path to the quarterfinals is a lot harder. They need something from this game and hope Slovakia loses the rest of their games. They bounced back from a really bad game against the Americans in their game against Finland but time is running out for them to make their fourth straight quarterfinal. The game will be on TSN 1/4/5 and RDS in Canada and NHL Network in the United States.
Group B Preliminary Games
12 PM ET: Czech Republic vs Belarus
Belarus is all but assured of getting to the relegation round after three straight losses to open the tournament. The recently-promoted Belarussians will look to get something from this game but it likely won’t matter unless they blow out the Czechs. They will have a best-of-three series against the last place team in Group A to stay in the top division. The Czech Republic is 1-1 to start the tournament after beating the Russians and losing to Sweden. The game will be on TSN 1/4 and RDS in Canada. NHL Network in the US will show the game.
2 PM ET: Switzerland vs Sweden
Sweden has been the well-oiled machine we thought they would be with one of the best defence groups in the tournament’s recent history. Their offence and goaltending is also very good and they can further their hold on Group B with a win against Switzerland. The Swiss had a close call against Belarus but ended up with the win, and followed that up with a game against Russia where they lost 5-2. They are well positioned to make the quarterfinals, and with a day off may be able to pressure the Swedes. The game will be on TSN5 and RDS2 in Canada and NHL Network in the USA will show the game on replay at 7am on December 31.
All games shown on TSN will be streamed on TSN Go in Canada, but it requires a subscription to TSN.