|Photo via Hockey Canada Images|
Currently sitting 2nd in the Group B standings, a win for the Americans here will likely ensure that they make it to the next round as the 2nd or 3rd seed from Group B. However, the Czechs are right behind the Americans in Group B standings, and a win by more than 3 goals would allow them to leap over the USA into 2nd. The Czechs play Finland tomorrow, while the Americans play Canada. USA will have tremendous pressure to win today, as a loss here and a loss to Canada would probably see the Americans head to the relegation rounds.
SLOVAKIA vs. SWEDEN
Slovakia and Sweden both look set to make it to the next round as the 2nd and 3rd seeds, seeing how Russia is cruising with a 3-0-0-0 record while Switzerland and Latvia are both winless. However, if Switzerland is able to beat Latvia by a wide margin, and the Slovaks lose to the Swedes, tomorrow's Slovakia/Switzerland game could become a fight for the 3rd seed. Sweden seems to be guaranteed a trip to the next round regardless.
DENMARK vs. FINLAND
Finland is looking to build off a surprising 4-1 upset over the Americans on Wednesday, and what better team to do it against than the Danes, who have the worst goal differential in the tournament (a -23). Finland needs to take advantage and rack up the goals, as their -4 goal differential has them currently in a position to end up in relegation; but, wins today and tomorrow against the Czechs would ensure a trip to the next round of the tournament.
LATVIA vs. SWITZERLAND
With no wins in three games and a -21 goal differential, Latvia is set to end up in relegation; the same cannot, however, be said for the Swiss. A dominant win today, as well as a Swedish win today, and an upset by the Swiss over Slovakia tomorrow, and Switzerland could be heading to the next round - not likely, though.