The group stage of the Hockey World Championship 2017 is over and a total of eight teams have advanced to the playoffs. The following teams will face each other in the quarter finals on Thursday May 18:
Switzerland – Sweden
A NHL-reinforced Three Crowns advanced to the playoffs without any major issues. On the other hand, Sweden lost to both Russia and the United States, which were the biggest competitors in the group. Sweden has played a bit sloppy and has suffered from many unnecessary penalties. However, the years when Sweden has won the gold, they have usually done so after a poor group stage, followed by excellent playoffs. Switzerland grabbed a spot in the playoffs after some mixed achievements, an overtime win over Canada perhaps being the biggest one. Sweden has good experiences of playing Switzerland in the playoffs; the gold years 1998 and 2013, and the Olympic Games in Torino 2006. The winner faces the United States or Finland in the semifinal.
Canada – Germany
One of the host nations, Germany, advanced to the playoffs. The World Championships are played in Cologne and Paris. Unfortunately, France did not succeed in advancing from the group stage this year, despite a convincing win against Finland. Canada won its group comfortably and is one of the favorites of the gold, together with Russia and Sweden. The winner faces Russia or the Czech Republic.
Russia – Czech Republic
Russia finished second in the group after losing against the United States in the last match. In the quarterfinals, the Czech Republic is difficult to assess: they have many reinforcements from the NHL but have not more than they should in the group stage. The winner faces Canada or Germany.
USA – Finland
Finland is the disappointment of the tournament so far, including a 1-5 (!) loss against France. The lions barely made it to the quarterfinals and here they will face USA who has played an convincing game so far, winning their group ahead of Russia and Sweden.On the other hand, Finland can play completely without pressure and expectations, so you never know. The winner faces Switzerland or Sweden.
We believe these teams will meet in the semifinals:
Sweden – USA
Russia – Canada