After starting out with five representatives, Jhonas Enroth and Andrej Sekera will be the only two Sabres’ players in action on “quarterfinal Thursday” at the 2013 IIHF World Championship. Four sudden-death games will take place – two each in Stockholm and Helsinki. All four of Thursday’s games can be seen live on the NBC Sports Network.
Enroth and Sweden will face Canada in the nightcap in Stockholm (2:15 p.m. ET), while Sekera’s Slovakian squad will take on the host Finns in Helsinki (11:30 a.m. ET).
The day opens with the United States meeting Russia in Helsinki (6 a.m. ET), followed by the Czech Republic battling with the surprising Swiss in Stockholm (8:45 a.m. ET). Switzerland went undefeated in the preliminary round, posting a tournament-best 20 points. A 3-2 shootout win over Canada on May 5 prevented Switzerland from claiming all 21 available points. Regulation wins were worth three points, and shootout wins were only worth two.
The scene shifts completely to Stockholm for medal-round action. The four winning teams will play in the semifinals on Saturday, with the Gold and Bronze medal games on Sunday.
If the games are tied at the end of regulation, the IIHF’s four-on-four 10-minute sudden-death overtime rule still applies during quarterfinal, semifinal and bronze-medal action. In the gold-medal game, overtime will be 20 minutes in length.
If overtime solves nothing, the teams will take part in a shootout – or a “Game Winning Shots” competition as they to refer to it in IIHF speak. Just like the NHL, three shooters from each team will alternate shots until a winner is determined. But unlike the NHL, once the third-round is complete, any player is eligible to shoot until the winning goal is scored. In fact, the same player could take every shot for a team from the fourth round on.
Hockey fans may remember the marathon seven-round shootout at the 2007 World Junior Championship that saw Jonathan Toews and Peter Mueller take three of their team’s shots in Canada’s 2-1 semifinal win over a United States team coached by Ron Rolston. Toews put Canada ahead 6-5 in the seventh round with his third goal, but Carey Price denied Mueller’s third attempt to seal the Canadian victory. Toews shot in the third, fifth and seventh round, while Mueller countered in the second, fifth and seventh.