Group B – Ondrej Nepla Arena, Bratislava

For the Swedes it was in the game against Latvia for the placement in the quarterfinals. Only the first and second placed stays in Bratislava. Third and fourth place must travel to Kosice. The Latvians still have a theoretic chance of reaching the quarter-finals, a victory over Sweden is needed.

IIHF World Championship Top Division 2019 Sweden vs Latvia #27 Oskars Cibulski, #21 Elias Lindholm, #28 Elias Lindholm. Ondrej Nepela Arena, Bratislava © Robanser

The first chance was also Latvia, Jaks checks goalie Lundqvist. But Sweden immediately counterattacked and Ekman-Larsson forgives from close range. Shortly thereafter, a shot by Balcers just past the Swedish goal. However, the Swedes, Lindholm with two tries, failed both times at Gudlevskis and Nylander’s shot goes over the gate. At the middle of the period, Sweden came to a power play. After a patient play, Landeskog suits Elias Pettersson. The shoots immediately and thetrifft puck goes straight into the Kreuzeck, Goalie Gudlevskis had no chance – 1-0 (11.). But only 25 seconds later, Lettand had a top chance to equalize. After a pass from Blugers to Balcers he forgives from close range. Goalie Lundqvist prevents this goal with an incredible reflex. A few minutes later, Sweden had another power play. This time, the Latvians give the chance of a short-handed goal, Blugers missed the puck by a few inches. In Sweden, Ekman-Larsson only hits the pole with one shot.

IIHF World Championship Top Division 2019 Sweden vs Latvia #11Kristaps Sotnieks, #40 Elias Pettersson. Ondrej Nepela Arena, Bratislava © Robanser

After the break, the Latvian team pushed for the equalizer. With the Russian-like fast style of playing they brought the Swedes several times in distress. This gave Latvia a power play. Coach Hartley’s team knew how to do that and Roberts Bucharts made it 1-1 (30.). The Swedes had to react to this goal and only four minutes later Adrian Kempe brings the World Champion again with a 2-1 lead (34.). In the final minute Latvia came to a power play, which was taken into the final period.

IIHF World Championship Top Division 2019 Sweden vs Latvia #30 Henrik Lundqvist, #87 Gints Meija, #6 Adam Larsson. Ondrej Nepela Arena, Bratislava © Robanser

So Latvia had this power play and immediately settled in the Sweden Zone. Robert Bucharts with a shot can defend the Lundqvist. The Swedish defender Marcus Pettersson wanted to move the puck away, while Eriksson tricks and the puck goes to 2-2 in the gate (42.). The Swedes visibly shocked, and unsettled in the game structure. The Latvian team got a jolt after that goal. Just two minutes later, Rihards Bukarts made a good move with a pass to Jaks, and scored for the first time lead for Latvia – 3-2 (44.). The Swedes took a few minutes to get back in the game. Lander scored after pass from Adrian Kempe the 3-3 (49.). Only one minute later Hörnqvist scored the 4-3 for Sweden (51.). After a quick move, Roberts Bucharts scores with his third goal to 4-4 (57.). This goal was only good after video evidence (supposedly high floor). Sweden coach demanded another challenge because of Offside. But even after this video study, the goal was well given. The Latvians exchanged the goalies two minutes before the end, Merzlikins came for Gudlevskis. Ten seconds later also Merzlikins went off the ice, the Latvians had to win in normal time. But Sweden came to the puck and Rasmussen scored with an empty net goal the 5-4 (60.).

Team Sweden vs Team Latvia 5-4 (1-0, 1-1, 3-2)

Group A – Steel Arena, Kosice

In Kosice was the first playoff decision to relegation on the board. France against Great Britain was the pairing and only the winner remains in the top division.

A weak game offered France and Great Britain None of the teams wanted to take too much risk. The French had a better chance, but they were not used. The British had the only power play in the first period, but they also could not score. The logical result after twenty minutes was a 0-0.

In the second section, the game was much better. The French went through Rech 1-0 in the lead (24.). Only four minutes later Sacha Treille in a power play to 2-0 (28.). When only 6 (!) Seconds later with his second goal on 3-0, everyone thought the game was escaped. The British risked everything with a total offense and Dowd succeeds the 1-3 (35.). When the British scorer, Hammond, scored the 2-3 with two minutes left, the game was open again.

The British now knew about their opportunity and used it. After a pass from Phillips Farmer meets for 3-3 (46.). With this goal, the British have equalized 0-3 backlog. France acted with the courage of desperation, and the British had a power play. A goal was denied as well as a power play for France. It remained in the tie and it went into the over-time. Great Britain achieves the sensation here. Davies scored the 4-3 and Britain manages to stay in the top division. France descends into the Div IA.

Team France vs Team Great Britain 3-4 OT (0-0, 3-2, 0-1, 0-1)