The national championships of ice-hockey are more open now than in the 1980’s and often nations considered smaller can grab a win against the established hockey nations. Sweden, for example, has a history of underestimation of the opponents. For example, in the 1992 World Championships in Prague, they won the gold in a tournament where they played 0-0 against Italy in the group stage. In the 2002 Olympics a star filled Swedish national team who had outplayed their opponents in the group stage, including Team Canada, fell against Belarus in the quarter finals. The later is considered to be one of the worst happenings in the history of Swedish sports. It would be an event hard to forget if it weren’t for the 2006 double gold medals in the Olympics and World Championships, under coach Bengt-Åke Gustafsson. Nonetheless, the two groups in the 2015 World Championships are beginning to sort the top from the bottom and many of yesterdays games were between the bottom teams.
Switzerland 1-0 Germany
This game was as tight as they come where both goalies received 18 shots. Leonardo Genoni in the Swiss goal saved one more than his German colleague Timo Pielmeier. 12:16 into the third period Denis Hollenstein scored the only goal of the game. Switzerland is now on a play off spot in the group while Germany is just below, in fifth place. Switzerland will face Latvia, who are last in group A, in the next game.
Belarus ran over Denmark
Belarus are often underestimated, both by other teams, but also when it comes to odds. For example, you can get 3x the stake if you place a bet on them against Norway in the last round (Betsafe). That is especially good odds thinking of many of the players in Belarus come from the Russian school of hockey. They gave Sweden a good game in the quarter finals in last year’s World Championships in Minsk and yesterday they beat Denmark 5-1. Although Denmark did a good first period, taking a 1-0 lead, Belarus put the pedal in the metal in the second period and scored three straight goals. That was followed up with two more goals in the third period. Yevgeni Kovyrshin scored two of the goals and Belarus climbs up to third place in group B while Denmark has one point so far, giving them a sixth place before Slovenia and their nordic neighbours Norway.
Huet shutout Austria
We put French goalkeeper Cristobal Huet on our list of 10 stars of the 2015 World Championships and in this years tournament he got his first shutout with the national team. Damien Fleury scored 1-0 to France in the third period which became the decisive goal. 2-0 came in open net. Important points for France who has a sixth place in the group while Austria is in seventh place with 2 points. Latvia is in the last spot of the group with 0 points, however they have played against both Canada and Sweden and have som potential easier opponents left to face.
Slovakia 3-1 Slovenia
In the 2014 Olympic games in Sochi, Russia, Slovenia beat Slovakia 3-1. Anze Kopitar scored one goal in the game. They almost followed up with another game in this years World Championships, taking the 1-0 lead in the first period. However, Slovakia came back strong in the third period. The teams scoring leader, Andrej Meszaros, tied the game where after superstar Marian Gaborik scored twice. Slovakia is now in second place in group B and Slovenia is in seventh place with no points. Norway is in the last place in the group, also with 0 points, but with worse scoring difference. Slovakia will face Norway in the next game.