The 2016 IIHF World Championship is nearly a third of the way complete and to no one’s surprise, Team Canada is ruling the roost. The heavy favorite to win gold, Canada sits atop Group B with 9 points, having outscored their opponents 20-2. They opened the tournament with a 5-1 win over Team USA, then followed it up by steamrolling Russia, 7-1 and shellacking Belarus, 8-0.
After losing their opening match to Canada, Team USA bounced back with a 6-3 win against Belarus, then lost to Finland, 3-2. They currently sit in fourth place in Group B.
Team Latvia, along with Switzerland and Norway, sits in the basement of Group A, having lost all three of its games so far. Latvia opened the tournament with an OT loss to Sweden, 2-1, fell to the Czech Republic, 4-3 in a shootout and was blanked 4-0 by Russia.
Russia sits atop Group A, with 2 wins and a loss.
The top four ranked teams in each Group advance to the quarterfinals.
INDIVIDUAL PLAYER NOTES:
Ryan O’Reilly has two goals and two assists (tied for 8th in overall points) and has been averaging just under 20 minutes per game for Team Canada. Sam Reinhart has one assist and is a +2, with four shots on goal, averaging a little over 6:46 of ice time per game.
The Sabres representatives have had limited roles for Team USA. Hudson Fasching skated just 7:51 against Canada but took only one shift for 28 seconds of ice time against Belarus. Defenseman Jake McCabe played 11:26 against Canada and did not play against Belarus. He’s day-to-day after crashing into the boards with his shoulder in the opening game.
Zemgus Girgensons, the only current NHL player on Team Latvia, has a power play goal, 8 shots on goal, and is averaging more than 20 minutes of ice time per game.
Patrik Laine (4G, 2A) and Mikael Granlund (2G, 4A) of Team Finland lead all players with six points in three games.