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Friday: Czechs vs. Slovaks

BRATISLAVA/KOSICE – The last Preliminary Round decisions were made tonight to complete the picture for the Qualification Round and the Relegation Round, starting on Thursday in Bratislava and Kosice.

The Preliminary Round finished with some upsets. Denmark (vs. Latvia) and France (vs. Belarus) advanced to the Qualification Round after defeating their higher-seeded opponents. And who would have expected Germany to win Group A ahead of Russia and Slovakia?

Thursday begins with two Relegation Round match-ups at 16:15, Slovenia vs. Latvia in Bratislava and Belarus vs. Austria in Kosice.

Teams for the Qualification Round stay at their venues and play three games against opponents from the other group in the same arena. Each team carries over the points and goals earned in the two Preliminary Round games played against the Qualification Round opponents.

The Qualification Round starts on Thursday at 20:15 when Russia plays Denmark in Bratislava, while Switzerland faces Norway in Kosice.

Friday will be the day of great rivalries. Canada and the United States will battle it out at 16:15 in Kosice while the most anticipated match-up so far in Bratislava, Czech Republic vs. Slovakia, will be played at 20:15.

Qualification Round Standings (after two games)

Group E in Bratislava

1. Czech Republic 6 (8-1)
2. Germany 6 (6-3)
3. Finland 3 (6-3)
4. Russia 3 (4-5)
5. Slovakia 0 (6-8)
6. Denmark 0 (1-11)

Group F in Kosice

1. Canada 5 (13-4)
2. Sweden 4 (10-7)
3. Switzerland 3 (4-4)
4. USA 3 (6-8)
5. Norway 2 (7-8)
6. France 1 (1-10)