After Sweden's 3-0 shutout of Finland Sunday night, the bracket for the rest of the men's hockey tournament has taken shape. Thanks to the United States' surprising sweep in the preliminary round, the USA has locked down the top seed for the rest of the tournament and has assured themselves of a much, much easier road to the medal round. Even more importantly, they won't face Canada again until the gold medal game, if both are able to get that far.
Because of Canada's disappointing results in pool play, they have a much tougher road ahead of them. They'll have to get past Germany (which isn't as easy as some will lead you to believe) and will have to face Russia and most likely Sweden to move on.
So while yesterday's big win by the United States wasn't exactly the 'miracle' everyone is playing it up to be, there's no question the victory has some all important ramifications for the rest of the tournament.
Here are the final seedings for the tournament:
- Czech Republic
The next part of the tournament is the 'qualification' round, with the top four teams receiving a bye for this round. Here are the matchups for these games:
All times Eastern.
QP1 - Switzerland vs Belarus - Feb. 23 - 3:00 p.m.
QP2 - Czech Republic vs Latvia - Feb. 23 - 7:00 p.m.
QP3 - Slovakia vs Norway - Feb. 23/24 - 12:00 a.m.
QP4 - Canada vs Germany - Feb. 23 - 7:30 p.m.
This is single elimination now, so any loss and you are out of the tournament completely. Here's the schedule for the quarterfinals:
QF1 - USA vs QP1 Winner - Feb. 24 - 3:00 p.m.
QF2 - Finland vs QP2 Winner - Feb. 24 - 7:30 p.m.
QF3 - Sweden vs. QP3 Winner - Feb. 24 - 10:00 p.m.
QF4 - Russia vs. QP4 Winner - Feb. 24/25 - 12:00 a.m.
I'm guessing a 12 am start time for a potential Russia vs. Canada matchup will leave some hockey fans on the East Coast very, very unhappy.
Here's the rest of the tournament:
QF1 vs QF2 - Feb. 26 - 3:00 p.m.
QF3 vs QF4 - Feb. 26 - 9:30 p.m.
Here's the medal games. Of course, the bronze medal game is between the losers of the two semifinals game.
Bronze Medal Game - Feb. 27 - 10:00 p.m.
Gold Medal Game - Feb. 28 - 3:15 p.m.