Group A Preliminary Games
2 PM ET: Slovakia vs Switzerland
Slovakia is coming off of a tough loss to the Czech Republic in their pre-tournament game. They are a young team, with several high-tier prospects in both the 2021 and 2022 NHL Drafts. They are likely a year away from being able to make noise at this tournament. Switzerland defeated Austria in their pre-tournament game that was likely closer than they would have liked. This game is one of the ones that will likely decide who makes the playoff round as both these teams plus Germany will be battling for two spots. The game will be shown on TSN 3/5 in Canada and NHL Network in the US.
Germany did not get to play a pre-tournament game due to positive COVID-19 tests once they reached the bubble in Edmonton. That forced an extended quarantine, and they don’t get a break as they start off their round robin with the two best teams in the group: Finland on Christmas and then Canada on Boxing Day. To make matters worse, they only have two goaltenders, five defenders, and nine forwards for their opening game. Tim Stützle, who should get a lot of ice time, will look to build on his great tournament a year ago. Finland fell to the United States in pre-tournament action but should be heavily favoured in this game. Anton Lundell will look to make up for being injured in last year’s tournament. The game will be on TSN 3/5 in Canada and NHL Network in the US.
Group B Preliminary Game
9:30 PM ET: United States vs Russia
Montreal Canadiens prospect Cole Caufield scored two goals in 35 seconds in the United States’ 3-2 win over Finland in pre-tournament play. The team looks to bounce back from their disappointing tournament a year ago and they do it against their long-time rivals, Russia. Yaroslav Askarov played great against Canada in pre-tournament action, but the team in front of him couldn’t score a goal in their 1-0 loss to Canada. The winner of this game will have the inside track to win the group with the uncertainty surrounding Team Sweden. The game will be on TSN 1/3/4/5 and RDS in Canada, NHL Network in the US.
All games shown on TSN will be streamed on TSN Live in Canada, but it requires a subscription.