Monday, May 09, 2005

Updating the World Championships

Originally, I planned to have little updates of all the games in the World Hockey Championships in this blog such as I did in this post, unfortunately I had computer problems that prevented me from blogging last week. Over a week's worth of game updates seems to be a bit much, so I will merely summarize what has happened so far in the tournament.

Teams we put into four groups of four teams for the qualifying round. Each group played a round robin amongst themselves and the top 3 teams moved on.

Group A consisted of Austria, Belarus, Russia and Slovakia. Austria was eliminated getting outscored 17-3 in their 3 games.

Group B consisted of Canada, Latvia, Slovenia and the United States. Slovenia was eliminated getting outscored 18-1 in their 3 games.

Group C consisted of Denmark, Finland, Sweden and the Ukraine. Denmark was eliminated getting outscored 11-2 in their 3 games.

Group D consisted of Czech Republic, Germany, Kazakhstan and Switzerland. Germany was eliminated getting outscored 9-2 in their 3 games.

The three remaining teams in group A joined the 3 remaining teams in group D to form a 6 team group E. Teams play against the teams from the other qualifying group and keep their results versus the teams in their group that they had already played in the qualifying round. This is currently underway. The top 4 teams in this group move onto the playoffs. Russia currently leads this group with 8 points in their 5 games. The Czech Republic has 4 games played and 6 points and can tie the Russians in points with a win in their final game vs. Belarus. Russia would still win the group having beaten the Czechs in their head-to-head meeting. Slovakia and Switzerland have clinched the other two playoff berths leaving Belarus and Kazakhstan eliminated.

The group B and C teams that survived qualifying also move nto a 6 team group called group F. Sweden leads this group with 6 points in 4 games. They face Latvia in their final game. Canada can catch Sweden if Sweden loses and the Canadians defeat Ukraine as Canada had 5 points in 4 games. USA has clinched a playoff berth also with 6 points in 5 games. Should Sweden and Canada both lose, USA win the group. Finland will most likely get the last playoff berth, although with a win in their final game it is mathematically possible that Latvia could make playoffs. Ukraine is eliminated.

Some of the top scorers in the tournament so far have been Rick Nash and Joe Thornton of Canada and Zigmund Palffy of Slovakia. The best goalies have come from the overmatched teams that have been overpowered in this tournament. Andrei Mezin of Belarus and Vitaliy Kolesnik of Kazakhstan have probably been the best goalies. Maybe one day we will see them in the NHL.

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