Group B – Ondrej Nepla Arena, Bratislava

IIHF World Championship Top Division 2019 Czech Republic vs Latvia #21 Rudolfs Balcers, #32 Patrik Bartosak, #29 Jan Kolar, #3 Radko Gudas. Ondrej Nepela Arena, Bratislava © Robanser

In the game Czech Republic against Latvia was a game of table neighbors. Both have six points in the pack, and had to win in order not to lose sight of the chance to reach the quarter-finals.

The better chances had at the beginning of the Czechs in a power play. Latvia’s goalie Merzlikins eased the chances of Palat and Moravcik. The Latvians had a 5-3-power play, which was also neglected. Indrasis scored the surprising 1-0 (7.). The Czechs did not give up, but seemed tense. The Latvians came to another power play and again they scored a goal. Darzins plays through the Czech defense, who can not stop him, also plays around Goalie Bartosak and pushes the puck to 2-0 over the line (14.).

IIHF World Championship Top Division 2019 Czech republic vs Latvia #10 Lauris Darzins, #70 Miks Indrasis. Ondrej Nepela Arena, Bratislava © Robanser

The Czechs came after the break to a 5-minute power play. Bicevskis received a 5 + 10 penalty for an “illegal check to the head”. The Czechs knew how to use that. But for the time being, the goal was denied. Repik with the alleged connecting goal, which was not given after video analysis, the puck had not crossed the line. But after a patient game setup, it was time, Hronek scored with a slap shot the 1-2 (26.). Another shot of Simon goes to the helmet of Merzlikins. Shortly after halftime the Czech Republic manage a 2-2 equalizer through Kovar Jan (32.). Later in the match, Latvia was unable to use a power play and this strengthened the Czech team. Shortly before the break Voracek meets 3-2 (38.) – Czech Republic has turned the game. The Latvians seemed now unoriented and only a minute later Vrana scores for 4-2 (39.).

After the second break, the Czechs continued ear-pressing game. This results in the 5-2 by Simon, who exploits a pass from Voracek (46.). After Latvia let pass a power play, but got another few minutes. This time it was used, Darzins shortened the 3-5 (56.). Towards the end of the game Merzlikins went off the ice. This opportunity takes advantage of Voracek and with an empty-net goal he scored the 6-3 (59.). The last negative point in this game was from Darzins, he got a 5 + 10 penalty for charging. This victory gives the Czech Republic the chance to reach the quarter-finals. Latvia also has chances, albeit small, of a quarter-final place.

Photo Galerie CZE vs LAT

Team Czech Republic vs Team Latvia 6-3 (0-2, 4-0, 2-1)

Group A – Steel Arena, Kosice

In a win for Finland, the Scandinavians have real chances to reach the quarter-finals. Denmark has to win not to lose the connection to the “Top-4-Teams”.

Finland came to power play before the end of the period, but scored no goal. Denmark also had this opportunity, but missed the chance to take the lead. The very compelling chances remained generally, and so it was after twenty minutes 0-0.

After only 24 seconds in the middle period, the Danes had a power play. Madsen takes this opportunity and scored the 1-0 for the Danes (22.). The joy did not last long, just four minutes later, Finnlad’s young star Kakko scored the 1-1 (26.). The Finns then survived a power play for Denmark. Shortly after this penalty Manninen scored the 2-1, the first-time lead for Finland (35.).

In the final period there was a power play for Finland at the beginning, but there was no goal. Nevertheless, Finland was also the better team afterwards. Only after halftime of the period Pesonen scored the 3-1 (52.), the pass came from Kakko. In the end, Denmark once again got the chance to come up in a power play, but Finland played that result over time. With this victory, Finland is back on a quarter-final place. Denmark also has the theoretical chance to reach the quarter-finals.

Team Finland vs Team Denmark 3-1 (0-0, 2-1, 1-0)