May 15, 2012
Canada gets Slovakia in quarters
By TERRY JONES, QMI Agency
HELSINKI - The way it had been going, with an upset a day in the Helsinki pool at the world championship, it looked like it could be Canada-France in the quarterfinal.
And then, for a while, Canada-Finland.
But when the final day of the round-robin ended, it wound up being a Canada-Slovakia matchup in the quarters Thursday, with the U.S. facing Finland in the other playoff round game here. Russia-Norway and Sweden-Czech Republic will be the quarterfinal games in Stockholm.
With a win over Slovakia, Canada would play the winner of the Czech-Sweden game in the semifinals.
But it was a wild and crazy day as France came back from 2-0, 3-2 and 4-3 scores before finally losing to the Slovakians 5-4, while the U.S. was down 1-0 to Switzerland before pulling out a 5-2 win.
While order of seeding is still to be determined from the games ahead, the nine countries to pre-qualify for the Sochi Olympics have now been decided -- Finland, Sweden, Russia, Czech Republic, Canada, United States, Norway, Slovakia, and Switzerland.
Three more teams will be determined through qualification tournaments. The best teams outside the top nine nations have the right to host one of the three final Olympic qualification tournaments, in early February next year: Germany (10), Latvia (11) and Denmark (12).
Canada scored a 3-2 win over Slovakia to open the tournament. The Americans upset defending champion and host Finland 5-0 in their round-robin game.