IIHF World Championship roundup: Sweden continue perfect run as Finland get back on track


IIHF World Championship roundup: Sweden continue perfect run as Finland get back on track

Sweden have won six from six in the group stage
Sweden have won six from six in the group stageProfimedia
The IIHF World Championship in the Czech Republic will enter its quarter-final stage later this week and Monday saw some of the sides playing their final group matches with Poland, Kazakhstan, Norway and Denmark all waving goodbye to the tournament. Catch up on the day's action below.

Group A

Finland 3 Denmark 1

Finland defeated Denmark 3-1 in the day's second match in Prague to strengthen their hopes of reaching the quarter-finals in what has been an up-and-down tournament.

The reigning Olympic champions moved into fourth place in Group A, three points ahead of Austria, with the win.

To advance to the playoffs, coach Jukka Jalonen's charges need either Austria to lose to rock-bottom Great Britain in Tuesday's final game or to gain at least a point against Switzerland.

Great Britain 2 Norway 5

Great Britain lost 5-2 to Norway in the early game of the day in Prague and were thus relegated back to the second-tier Division I after one year in the IIHF's elite competition. The Norwegians, on the other hand, secured their place at the top table for another year with the win.

Michael Brandsegg-Nygard contributed three points for a goal and two assists, while Eskild Bakke Olsen scored twice for the Norwegians.

Great Britain and Poland will be replaced by Slovenia and Hungary at the championships in Sweden and Denmark a year from now. The British team remain without a point in the tournament after six matches and are six points behind Norway ahead of Tuesday's final clash with Austria.

"It's a big relief for us to have made it," said Norwegian captain Patrick Thoresen, whose team has been among the elite group since 2006.

"It's very important for the whole of Norwegian hockey that we stay in the top tier and can continue to play with the best teams and against the best players," he added.

Group B

Kazakhstan 3 Poland 1

In the second Group B game of the day in Ostrava, Kazakhstan defeated Poland 3-1 in a direct battle to remain in the elite category of the IIHF World Championship. 

The game was decided in the third period with a goal and an assist by Nikita Mikhail. Poland earned just one point from their seven Group B matches and will relegated to the lower division after one year for finishing last in the group.

Sweden 3 France 1

Sweden defeated France 3-1 in the early game in Ostrava to maintain their 100% record after six games.

Lucas Raymond and Andre Burakovsky confirmed the victory in Group B with a goal and an assist each, while captain Erik Karlsson scored the crucial go-ahead goal on a power play.

"It was a tough game. The French did a good job and we were not ourselves. We have to play better and I know we will," said Sweden forward Fabian Zetterlund.

"They managed to make it difficult for us. They attacked our passing well and didn't give us much time. We have to play faster, they almost got us, but in the end, we showed our strength," the San Jose player added.

Follow the tournament here.


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