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Men's World Championship Roundup: Quarterfinal Matchups are Set

The group of eight teams that will play for gold has been set at the men's IIHF World Hockey Championship after an interesting final day of round-robin play.
2022 IIHF World Championship

Canada Shuts Out France, Takes Third in Group A

Canada bounced back from a shocking loss to Denmark with a 7-1 victory over France on Tuesday. 

Canada controlled the pace of the game, outshooting France 44-19. The game was rendered meaningless thanks to Slovakia's 7-1 win over Denmark, meaning it was all about keeping Canada healthy and ready to go for the playoff round, while France was just looking to go out on a high note after avoiding relegation.

Canada's 2-0 lead in the first period helped set the tone for the game. At 12:40, Travis Sanheim's shot was tipped in by Dylan Cozens, while Maxime Comtois knocked in Sanheim's rebound at 17:31 to make it 2-0. 

Pierre-Luc Dubois got his dominant line with Cozens and Drake Batherson moving again with the 3-0 goal at 22:07, with that line recording three of the team's six goals. 

In just his second game of the tournament, Eric O'Dell scored a breakaway goal at 15:10 for his first of the tournament, and Zach Whitecloud scored at 45:29 for his first. Dubois' second of the game gave Canada its sixth goal of the night before Damon Severson scored another to make it seven.

Anthony Rech scored France's only goal midway through the third to give them one last reason to celebrate before the end of their tournament. 

Switzerland Beats Germany in Shootout to Win Group A

Switzerland has finished Group A play with seven straight wins after beating Germany 4-3 in the shootout on Tuesday.

It didn't take long for the Swiss to strike. Andres Ambuhl opened the scoring at 1:37 when he ripped home Enzo Corvi's pass on a one-timer to beat Philipp Grubauer.

The lead lasted until 11:51 when Kai Wissmann scored at 11:51, and Stefan Loibl gave Germany its lone lead of the game at 15:30 to make it 2-1.

A two-goal second period gave Switzerland the momentum heading into the stretch run. Pius Suter scored just 1:26 into middle stanza, and Denis Malgin added one on the man advantage with 1:29 left to make it 3-2, restoring Switzerland's lead.

That lasted for nearly eight minutes in the third, when Germany's Matthias Plachta forced extra time to decide the game.

In the shootout, Nico Hischier and Damien Riat scored on Switzerland's first two shots to secure the win and claim first place in Group A heading into the quarterfinal.

USA Doubles Up on Norway

Norway's tournament ended on a sour note after losing 4-2 to the United States.

The game was seemingly about pride for both teams, as Latvia's loss to Sweden earlier in the day meant USA had already advanced to the quarterfinal.

Ryan Hartman and Matt Boldy capitalized with goals in the first period, scoring at 3:45 and 7:20 respectively. Boston Bruins goaltender Jeremy Swayman saved all nine shots sent his way in the first before getting pulled in favor of Strauss Mann to help save Swayman for the medal round.

Norway took advantage of the goalie swap and at 22:43, Andreas Martinsen scored on a cold Strauss to make it 2-1. At 28:05, Ben Meyers completed a good passing play between him and Luke Hughes for the 3-1 goal, which ultimately would be the game-winner.

Daniel Boen Rokseth's first World Championship goal at 41:59 put the Norwegians back in the game, but Sean Farrell's empty-netter with 40 seconds left sealed the deal to give USA a 5-2 run in the preliminary round.

Juho Olkinuora Records Fourth Shutout as Finland Beats Czechia

Finland secured the top spot in Group B after shutting out Czechia 3-0 on Tuesday evening.

The real story, though, is the 24-save shutout by Juho Olkinuora. The Finnish netminder has now won all five games he has played for Finland, allowing just one goal and posting four shutouts. Heading into the playoff round, Olkinuora has a 0.20 GAA and .990 SP.

Most of the damage was done early, as Joel Armia scored at 9:31 after dancing by some defenders before Sakari Manninen scored a power-play maker at 16:17. Toni Rajala scored the final goal at 35:34, knocking in Mikael Seppala's pass at the doorstep for the 3-0 goal.

Slovakia Crushes Denmark to Advance

The goal was simple, yet difficult at the same time: beat Denmark in regulation, and beat them by at least three goals and it doesn't matter what happens anywhere else. 

That's exactly what Slovakia did, beating Denmark 7-1 to advance to the quarterfinal and try and build on the bronze medal the team won at the Winter Olympics earlier this year.

For the Danes, it was a crushing blow after beating Canada for the first time ever on Monday, a 3-2 victory. Slovakia had to win by three goals or more to cement its place in the quarterfinal no matter what Canada did against France. Anything less, and Denmark was moving on. 

The Danes never really looked in it, taking over 15 minutes for the first shot of the game. Tomas Tatar scored twice in the opening period, including the eventual game-winner with 23 seconds to go in the first. 

Pavol Regenda, Mislav Rosandic and Juraj Slafkovsky put the game well out of reach with a 5-0 advantage in the second, while Simon Nemec and Regenda both scored in the third to finish things off.

San Jose Sharks forward Joachim Blichfeld scored the lone Danish goal at 47:43, but it did little to lighten the mood for a Danish team that looked destined for the quarterfinals.

Sweden Shuts Out Latvia, Latvia Goes Home

Sweden needed just one goal to eliminate Latvia from quarterfinal contention, winning the team's final round-robin game 1-0. 

William Nylander had the lone goal on the power play after good passing work between Lucas Wallmark and Rasmus Dahlin eventually made it over to Nylander.

Sweden ended up finishing second in Group B thanks to Finland's win later in the evening and will face off against Canada in the quarterfinal on Thursday.


News & Notes

- Longtime NHLer Frans Nielsen's career came to a close after Denmark's loss. Nielsen played 15 seasons in the NHL with the New York Islanders and Detroit Red Wings and is the all-time Danish scoring leader in NHL history.


Three Stars

1. Tomas Tatar, F (SVK): After a slow couple of games for the New Jersey Devils forward, he came alive with a two-goal first-period performance to send Slovakia to the playoff round.

2. Dylan Cozens, F (CAN): A goal and two assists gave Canada a comfortable advantage. Cozens has been a standout in his first men's national team tournament.

3. Alex Galchenyuk, F (USA): His two assists helped USA win today, and he was one of the team's most effective players all game long. 


Quarterfinal Matchups

USA vs. Switzerland
Canada vs. Sweden
Germany vs. Czechia
Finland vs. Slovakia



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