The last day of the IIHF World Championships is today, and if you aren’t playing outside on this long weekend, you have hockey to watch inside.
First up at 9:30 a.m. is the bronze medal game, the losers’ championship, between Canada and USA. No one predicted these two teams would be in this position, but they were both done in in their semifinals by a hot goalie and their own mistakes.
The USA lost in a blowout to Sweden after very undisciplined penalties — a trip by Keith Kinkaid on an unsuspecting player and a two handed wood chop slash by Johnny Gaudreau behind the play — let Sweden score three goals in three minutes. The game was over, and while the USA piled up shots (score effects are a thing) that doesn’t mean they were ever in the game. Sweden’s goalie, Anders Nilsson of the Canucks was lights out (particularly the goal light).
Canada lost in a slightly tighter match to a surprising Swiss team that was bolstered late by the arrival of two Nashville Predators. The real story there was some penalties, less egregious than the US ones, a bad Canadian PK, a very good Swiss PP, and a hot, hot, hot goalie in Leonardo Genoni. Genoni is a career Swiss league goalie, who has a history of superior play at the World Championships. He hadn’t been that great this year, but he brought his A game for the quarterfinals and the semis.
The bronze medal game is on TSN 1, 3, and 5.
The gold medal game between Sweden and Switzerland in on TSN 1, 3, 4, and 5 at 1:30 p.m.
Sweden was also bolstered by a Nashville Predators player, and look for Viktor Arvidsson to keep scoring. He’s never played in the World Championships before, and he showed up just in time to score three goals in four games. Sweden has a better defence corps than any team in this tournament, but today’s game might be the battle of the hot-streaking goalies, and if so, anything can happen.
Correction: Curtis McElhinney is starting. As far as the lone Leafs player in the event, Curtis McElhinney is still expected to dress as backup today.
Also of note, TSN 2 is carrying today’s Game 2 of the Conference Finals between the Toronto Marlies and the Lehigh Valley Phantoms. That game starts at 4 p.m.