After the preliminary round was over on Monday night we had our playoff matches and the two teams who would play to stay in the main group. Yesterday the teams began their march to Gold, or struggle to survive.
Today is an off day, just rest and practice.
Before we get to the recaps, big congratulations to the organizers and fans. According to Niagara This Week - Record-breaking response to U18 world championships - Niagara This Week - the attendance record for this tournament was set before the preliminary round was over, and after the final buzzer of Canada - USA sounded it was official: 21,879 people had watched the games so far, and that number is going to grow. As you can see in one of Singjay's pictures below, there are two large banners at one end of the rink:
Behind these banners are retractable bleachers. Right now the area where they would be is used for team warm ups (left side) and volunteer staging (right side). The bleachers will be lowered for Fridays games, increasing the Meridian Capacity to 5,300, and providing more fans to watch the medal games.
Switzerland 5 - France 1 - Full Recap Here
The win gives the Swiss a decided edge to stay in the top group for 2017, while France is on the verge of being demoted right after earning promotion.
Swiss forward Alina Muller had two goals and an assist, giving her nine points and sole possession atop the tournament scoring leaders. Muller also leads all players with seven goals. She has been involved in nine of her team's 14 goals this year.
"It was important to win," Muller said. "We know France wants to stay in the top division, but we want to as well. We know we're the better team, but that doesn't mean we'll win. Still, even though it was close for the first 30 minutes, we were never afraid we'd lose."
Sweden 3 - Czech Republic 2 - Full Recap Here