Relegation Round - Game One
For the first time since re-entering the tournament four years ago, Denmark will be playing in the relegation round, a best-of-three series to determine who stays in the top division and who goes down next season. We know Kazakhstan will be promoted, and both of these teams will be looking for their first win of the tournament. Last year, Finland swept Latvia in the two games. Belarus has had the closer calls in this year’s tournament, having close games against both the Czech Republic and Switzerland.
12 PM ET: Czech Republic vs Finland
This is one of the two more interesting quarter-final matchups. The Finns were expected to give both Canada and the United States a challenge, but fell short in both of those games. They face a Czech Republic team that surprised many by beating Russia, but struggled against the other teams in the group. In a win-or-go-home game, it will be interesting to see which team steps up. The game will be on TSN 1/3/4/5 and RDS in Canada. NHL Network in the US will also show the game.
4 PM ET: Canada vs Switzerland
Switzerland’s coach Christian Wohlwend went on a rant on Sunday after his team was pencilled in against Canada in the quarter-final saying that they do everything better and his team doesn’t even know what pressure is. That’s exactly the kind of situation the Swiss thrive in, and while it would be a surprise to see this be a close game, remember that Denmark took Russia to overtime last year in the quarters. Canada will be coming off of two days off, the only team in the playoffs to do so, and it will be interesting to see whether that helps them or hurts them in the game. The game will be on TSN 1/4/5 and RDS in Canada and NHL Network in the USA will show the game.
Sweden has looked unstoppable so far in this tournament, despite a close game against Russia to close out the round robin. But for all their success in the group stage (44 straight wins) they only have one gold medal to show for it, and last year couldn’t even get the bronze. Slovakia had a great performance against Denmark, and fresh off of their upset of the USA, will look to take down another top team in the tournament and make the semifinal once again. The game will be on TSN 3 in Canada and NHL Network in the United States at 10am on January 3.
One of the best rivalries in hockey, although muted in recent years, will get another chapter in Buffalo. The Russians almost pulled off the win against Sweden as they took them to a shootout, but their loss puts them against the Americans as a result of their loss to the Czech Republic. They have rebounded from that game, and it will be a disappointment for whichever team loses this game to be eliminated prior to the semis. The Americans should be the favourite in this one, but never count out the underdog when these teams play. The game will be on TSN 1/4/5 and RDS 2 in Canada and NHL Network in the United States.
All games shown on TSN will be streamed on TSN Go in Canada, but it requires a subscription to TSN.