With the Preliminary Round over, it's time for the elimination games. First up, we get a relegation appetizer.
Switzerland vs. Germany
Featuring: Relegated teams
The Swiss won meaningless game #1 by a score of 5-2 off the strength of scoring five goals while only allowing two. What a performance by those Swiss guys.
United States vs. Russia
Featuring: Dylan Larkin (0 points, 7 SOG, 2 PIM)
The US got themselves into penalty trouble against an unfeeling, uncaring, and unseeing refereeing crew in their quarterfinal matchup against Russia, falling 3-2 to end their WJC hopes. Larkin took one of the USA's eight penalties and didn't get on the scoreboard, though not for lack of trying. Team USA did get six power play opportunities of their own, so fault for their loss lies pretty squarely on their own shoulders here. Larkin was named among the three best players for Team USA at the tournament because it would have been monumentally stupid not to have done that. He got a watch for his trouble, so he can start the timer on it when Jack Eichel plays his first NHL game and then hit stop the moment he gets called up to play in the NHL for Detroit. Does that sound bitter? Sorry. It's just that I'm bitter.
Sweden vs. Finland
Featuring: Axel Holmstrom (1 assist, 1 SOG, -1), Cristoffer Ehn (0 points, 2 SOG), Julius Vahatalo ()
Sweden and Finland fought a close, hard game until two empty-netters salted it away for the Swedes in a 6-3 victory. After a scoreless first period, Finland took a 1-0 lead early in the second off a blocked shot and breakaway for Jusso Ikonen. Sweden scored the next three in the period, but the Finns finished strong by tying it up prior to the start of the third. In the final frame, Sweden scored their second 5-on-3 goal of the night, which proved to be the game winner. Axel Holmstrom assisted on that game-winning goal by Adrian Kempe. Sweden will take on Russia in the semifinal to decide which club gets to play for Gold on Monday.
Czech Republic vs. Slovakia
The Slovaks eliminated the Czech Republic 3-0. The game-winner came late in the first period off the stick of Michal Kabac. The game remained close until the last five minutes when the Slovakian team potted two more to salt it away.
Canada vs. Denmark
Featuring: Joe Hicketts (1 assist, 2 SOG, +1)
Canada pasted Denmark 8-0. Seven different Canadians scored and Zach Fucale only had to face 13 shots at the Canadian net. You're going to want to see the Curtis Lazar goal for the wonderful outlet pass. Check out Hicketts with the vision and accuracy on this thing.
GIF: Lazar puts Canada up 5-0 on the breakaway http://t.co/19yMMQAHUT— Pete Blackburn (@PeteBlackburn) January 3, 2015
Canada will face the Slovaks for the right to battle for gold next.
Schedule for Saturday, January 3rd
Just the Swiss and Germans at it again for this one. The winners get to take a break. 7pm EST at the ACC if you're interested.
If you live in the US, then NHL Network is your source for WJC games. They're going to show all Team USA and Canada games, but not every game. NHL.com has the full broadcast schedule here.
In Canada, the TSN empire will have every single game. Here's their network/broadcast schedule.