Czech Republic 3 – Belarus 0
::: It was all about the seeding for the Czech Republic and Belarus. Win and you finish third in your pool. Lose and you’re fourth and having to face the powerful Russians in the first round of the quarterfinals.
It took awhile for either team to score but the Czechs finally solved the Belarus netminder on their way to a 3-0 victory over Belarus.
Skating through a scoreless first half of the game, the Czechs first goal actually came off of specialty teams 10:02 into the second period. With Cats forward Rostislav Olesz in the box for slashing, Petr Cajanek stole the puck at center ice and skated in on Vitali Koval. There he blasted it past the Belarus netminder for the game’s first goal of the game.
The Czechs would add the insurance goal with 57 seconds left in the middle period as New Jersey’s Patrik Elias scored on the power play, knocking in his own rebound for his second goal in two games.
With Belarus pressing to get on the board in the third, Cajanek put the nail in the coffin as his second of the game gave the Czechs the 3-0 lead with 4:08 remaining in the game.
Jakub Stepanek picked up the shutout by stopping 18 Belarusian shots in the game. Olesz skated on the third line and finished with a shot in 11:38 of ice time.
The Czechs will have to wait until Monday to find out who they will face in their quarterfinal match as they could face a number of teams (Latvia, Sweden or the United States).
*****Russia 6 – Latvia 1
::: Five minutes was all the Russians would need to turn a close affair into a route as they beat Latvia 6-1 Sunday in Bern in both team’s last qualifying game.
The victory kept the Russians perfect at the World Championships (one victory in overtime) while Latvia has to wait until Monday to find out if they made the qualification round.
If Switzerland beats the United States in regulation time, Latvia will finish fifth in the group, and will not make the quarterfinal (unless France does not beat Sweden in regulation time, too). In case Switzerland does lose a point, then Latvia is in the quarterfinals.
Russia scored the only goal in the first period when Anton Kuryanov scored 11:43 into the contest on a Russian powerplay.
Then they pulled away from the Latvians, scoring three times in a 2:49 second span early in the second period. Alexei Tereschenko scored just 1:01 in and the floodgates opened.
Oleg Tverdovsky netted Russia’s second power play goal of the game 2:03 later and Kuryanov followed with his second of the game 46 seconds later, making the score 4-0.
Latvia would jump on the board with a power play goal of their own as Herberts Vasiljevs scored 3:55 left in the second.
Russia would score quickly in the third, recording two goals in a 2:50 second span as Alexander Frolov (Los Angeles) scored 3:38 in and Tverdovsky recorded his second of the game at the 6:28 mark.
Alexander Eremenko stopped 25 of 26 shots in the win for Russia while Edgars Masalskis turned away 31 of the 37 shots he saw.
Karlis Skrastins finished with two shots on goal on 16:35 of ice time while Janis Sprukts was on the ice for 14:37.