That looks set to be the big game on Thursday, which will also see Slovakia travel to Tampere to face Finland. In Helsinki, Switzerland takes on the USA and Germany awaits the Czech Republic.
Tuesday’s final round of group stage action brought six games. The outstanding question in Group A was whether Slovakia could nip into the remaining playoff spot at the expense of Denmark. The Danes went into that head-to-head meeting on a high after defeating Canada for the first time on Monday.
However, Slovakia swiftly brought Denmark back down to Earth. Two first period goals from Tomas Tatar set the tone and the Slovaks went on to win 7-1. Youngster Simon Nemec had a goal and three assists as the Danes saw a promising campaign collapse at the final hurdle.
Earlier in Helsinki, Switzerland continued its unbeaten run, edging Germany in a shoot-out to take top spot. Last the Swiss negotiated the group stage without defeat, they went all the way to the final before losing to Sweden in 2013. The Germans, meanwhile, took second place in the group and still have hopes of improving on last year’s fourth-place finish.
The final Group A game saw Canada romp to a 7-1 success against France. The French were never in with a chance of making the quarter finals, but will be happy to secure the top division status they lost in 2019.
Finland secured top spot in Group B thanks to a 3-0 victory over Czechia. Former Metallurg goalie Juho Olkinuora has now gone 198:27 without allowing a goal in this tournament, blanking Great Britain and Austria before today’s game. He could break the record shut-out streak set by his compatriot Tuukka Rask in 2015 when the Finns play Slovakia in Thursday’s quarter final.
Earlier in the day, Sweden edged a 1-0 verdict over Latvia to secure second place in the group. Team USA was already destined to finish fourth, but downed Norway 4-2 in its final game before traveling to Helsinki.