OSTRAVA, CZECH REPUBLIC -- On the final day of the preliminary round at the 2015 IIHF World Championship in Czech Republic the quarterfinal matchups were determined. Here's what you need to know:
- Tyler Ennis and Canada defeated Austria, 10-1, to remain a perfect 7-0 during the preliminary round and secure the top spot in Group A. It was another scoring-by-committee effort that bumped Matt Duchene and Jason Spezza into a four-way tie with Russia's Yevgeni Dadonov and Sweden's Oliver Ekman-Larsson for the tournament scoring lead with 11 points.
- USA was able to survive a disastrous second period, in which Andrej Meszaros and Slovakia erased a three goal deficit and even took a 4-3 lead, before winning 5-4 in overtime thanks to Jack Eichel's great shot from the circle with28 seconds left on the clock.
"It was a great play by Faulk to get the puck up to me," Eichel explained. "Lewy went to the net and I just let off a shot. I don't think the goalie even saw it."
And apparently, neither did any one else on the team.
"I don't even remember who it was off the draw, but they made a great play up to him and I just went to the net and let him do his thing and it's an unreal shot he has there," said linemate Trevor Lewis. "I didn't even see it. I just heard it go by me. It was a great shot."
"I actually turned my head," said Charlie Coyle. "I didn't think anything was coming of it. I saw him on the boards with it. I think he won a board battle and just moves his feet and is so quick with it and just put it on net. I don't know if it was tipped or something, but we'll take it. He's a special player and that was a good goal for us. A big goal."
"I didn't even see it, to be honest with you," said head coach Todd Richards. "I was talking with the coaches trying to figure out who our shootout guys were going to be and I looked up and he had scored and I said, 'Ok, good, I don't have to make a decision on who's going to shoot now.'"
With the win, USA has a date with Switzerland in the quarterfinal.
- Belarus held on for a 3-2 win over Norway to clinch their spot in the quarterfinals, while knocking the "hometown" team, Slovakia, out of contention in the process.
- Looking to avoid relegation, France scored twice in the third period to force overtime and then beat Latvia, 3-2, in the shootout.
This was worst case scenario for Austria, who dropped from 6th to 8th when all three teams finished with five points in the Group A standings. A win in regulation by either team or a win by Latvia in bonus hockey and Austria would have been safe, but because Austria lost both their games to these two teams, they lose the tiebreaker, finish 8th in the group and are subsequently relegated.
An already bitter pill to swallow was extra tart this time around considering Denmark only had four points, but finished 7th in the Group B standings - just one point ahead of Slovenia, who was also relegated.
- In a game without any implications regarding the standings and was literally just for fun, Czech Republic defeated Switzerland 2-1 in the shootout.
- Battling for second and third in Group B, Finland and Russia needed six rounds in the shootout to determine a winner, but in the end, Finland would earn the extra point with a 3-2 final score and a date with Czech Republic in Prague for the quarterfinals. Russia will stay in Ostrava and play Sweden.
- Austria and Slovenia are relegated. Having won their respective qualifying tournaments, Hungary and Khazakhstan have been promoted and will participate in the 2016 IIHF World Championship in Russia.
To recap, the quarterfinals on Thursday are:
* USA vs Switzerland, 9:15 a.m. ET - Ostrava (Live on NBCSN and TSN)
* Canada vs Belarus, 10:15 a.m. ET - Prague (Live on NBCSN - joined in progress - and TSN)
* Sweden vs Russia, 1:15 p.m. ET - Ostrava
* Finland vs Czech Republic, 2:15 p.m. ET - Prague