Ice Hockey World Championship decided in Cologne, Germany
The ice hockey World Championship tournament has reached its pinnacle with only four teams and four games left to be decided. The surprise teams Germany and Switzerland hung on until the quarter-finals, but were then irresistibly ousted by star-studded Team Canada and Team Sweden. Germany showed great poise by making it a tough battle against the Canadians, but lost 2-1 nevertheless. Same goes with Switzerland, who fell to Swedes 3-1 after a remarkably close game – which also saw a very controversial disallowed goal for the Swiss.
With the Russians comfortably beating their quarter-final opponents Czech Republic, the trio of the biggest favorites to win the tournament feature in the top-4. Russian machine has worked wonders the whole tournament, with skilled attack causing problems to each and every defense they’ve faced. Four players in top-10 of scoring race tells a story itself, the Russians are extremely hard to outscore.
A dark horse for the competition, gritty and feisty Team Finland made it to the final stages by outlasting Team USA in the quarter-final. Replacement goalkeeper Harri Säteri shut out the Americans, with great help by the shot-blocking, puck-eating defense. Two goals was enough to take the Finns through to the semi-final.
So far Accuscore’s predictions have made a side value profit of hefty +870 with set stake of 100 units per game. The totals have also provided small but constant profit of +190.
Canada – Russia
Two of the biggest favorites to win the tournament face-off in semi-finals in what many consider to be a moral Final of the tournament. Both teams have impressed so far, Canada with their routine and four-line deep scoring threat and Russia with amazing skill offensively and solid play defensively, with a goalkeeper to finally keep them afloat during hardship. Andrei Vasilevski is by any standard a top keeper in the tournament, something that has not always been the case for the Russians.
In Accuscore simulations the Canadians are slight favorites, but only marginally. The percentages are almost at 50/50, so a coin flip between the teams is as good as any prediction. The exact projection is 50.9% for the Canadians. In the simulations, there’s plenty of goals scored with both teams possessing some amazing skill in offense. With an average of close to seven goals, it’s likely to be a heavy-scoring but close game. Indication is at least a 3-3 draw, but could go as high as four goals for either team.
Finland – Sweden
The battle between the brotherly Nordic rivals never disappoints. Considered a smaller brother of the two, Team Finland has shown some remarkable efficiency when it matters, despite looking out of place at times during the group stage. Sweden, on the other hand have routinely sailed through to the semi-finals, with arguably the best team they’ve ever iced in the World Championships. An abundance of quality with 18 NHL players pits the Swedes clear favorites ahead of Team Finland, who on the contrast have only three NHL-skaters in their lineup. Replacing top quality star players with hard-working, committed grinders has worked for the Finns in the past, but this time the challenge just might be too much.
Games are rarely decided on the statistics or lineups sheets, but the difference in quality in each area of the game makes it look like a surefire progress to the final for Team Sweden. In Accuscore simulations Sweden wins with 70.9% probability by scoring 3.7 goals against 2.4 of the Finns. With the Finnish defensive mentality, though, the game might turn out to be something completely unpredicted as it was in the quarter-final against Team USA.For full analysis of each and every IIHF World Championship 2017 game and many more, subscribe to Accuscore for 7-day FREE TRIAL!