It´s only the second day of competition, but in a short three-day group stage, already some teams are in must-win situations if they hope to advance to Friday´s semi-finals.
Canada vs Switzerland (15:30 CET, 9:30am ET)
Canada comes off a comfortable 6-0 win over Finland while the Swiss dropped an exciting 4-3 shootout game to the host Czechs - one in which they led late.
“The game was a very tough one; both teams played well,” said Swiss coach Martin Höhener. “In the end, the little details made the difference and one of them tied the game up. I´m happy that the boys kept battling. I can´t blame them. We have to work on some things to win games against teams like that.”
Canadian head coach Michael Dyck said about his team’s victory: “I thought we got a really solid effort from all four lines and all six defencemen. We have to work on our discipline, though. We can’t take that many penalties.”
While this is just the second day of competition, a regulation win will secure the Canadians a place in the semi-finals. A Swiss loss will douse their hopes of advancing.
Czech Republic vs Finland (19:00 CET, 1:00pm ET)
Fresh off their exciting come-from-behind shootout victory against Switzerland, things might get a little bit tougher for the Czechs against Finland, who are no-doubt looking for a bounce back after their loss to Canada.
“We weren´t ready to play and it showed,” said Finnish forward Adam Lambert, referring mostly to the team’s start where they fell behind 2-0 quickly. “We lost all the puck battles, didn´t skate hard enough, and it showed on the board.”
“By losing to Canada, they will need to win against us,” Czech goaltender Jan Bednář said about the Finns. “So I think it will be a tough opponent, but we have to prepare for it like any other game. We have to play as a team but I believe we can do it.”
Sweden vs Russia (15:30 CET, 9:30am ET)
Both Sweden and Russia are coming off opening day wins. However, the Russians have much more reason to enter this game feeling good. They fell behind 2-0 early in their game against the USA but rallied for six straight goals over the last two periods to win 6-2. The Swedes, on the other hand, were outshot 27-23 by a Slovak team they were expected to beat, and narrowly escaped with a 3-2 win.
Nonetheless, Tuesday is a new day and both of these teams are tied in points. The winner is virtually assured a spot in the semi-finals, while the loser could be in a position where they need to win and get some help on Wednesday.
Slovakia vs USA (19:00 CET, 1:00pm ET)
Conversely, both Slovakia and the USA enter this game still without any points, and therefore must win today and tomorrow if they have any hope of advancing. The Americans are surely shaking their heads after squandering an early two-goal lead against Russia, while the Slovaks at least have a positive feeling about the way they played against the Swedes.
“We´re not happy about the result, but we are at a stage where we need to improve every day, so the result is not so important at the moment. What is important is just the game that showed that it was our first official game on the international scene in this composition, and it was great,” said Slovak head coach Ivan Feneš.