Day 6 Summary: Czechs Easily through, Switzerland Stumbles, Attendance Record Broken – 07.12.2018

On Thursday, the World Championship in Prague entered its quarterfinal stage. First, the spectators at the O2 Arena watched Switzerland overcome the brave Norwegians only in overtime. The Czech fans feared something similar, but no worries were necessary in the end as the Czechs routed Denmark. Four more games were played at the Arena Sparta. First came the Asian derby Singapore – Thailand, followed by matches between Poland and Japan, Australia vs. Slovakia, and Canada vs. Estonia.

Singapore – Thailand 3-4 (1-0, 1-3, 1-1)

Arena Sparta was full of young fans at the start of its Thursday’s program and they have created a very solid and loud atmosphere during the Asian battle. Both teams felt the fans’ presence and tried to show their best. That’s why it was a very tight match. Initially, the Singaporeans had the upper hand and went into the lead twiced. But Thailand managed to turn the score around late in the second period thanks to Aphichet Ratanaprathum’s goal with only 8 seconds left before the second break. The Thais then controlled the game, but still they offered a chance for an equalizer to their opponents following a silly mistake. Syazni Ramlee managed to roll the ball over the goalkeeper’s hand and tied the score. But it didn’t take long before the Thais were ahead again, this time for good. The game-winning goal was scored by Pawat Thaidit at 54:01 and Thailand remained in contention for the improvement of their best ever result at the world championships, which is currently the 14th place from the previous WFC in 2016.

Poland – Japan 6-2 (3-0, 1-1, 2-1)

The Poles controlled the ball from the very beginning and kept the Japanese defense on their toes all the time. With their consistent pressure they were gradually increasing their lead. Although the Japanese reduced the gap in the second period, they didn’t disturb their opponents’ dominance. Poland continued in their pressure, controlled the game until the end and deservedly won 6-2.

Australia – Slovakia 3-12 (2-2, 0-4, 1-6)

Slovakia confirmed their role of favorites and crushed Australia 12-3. Nevertheless, it didn’t look like a one-sided affair after the first period, in which the young Liam Perry scored twice and the period ended 2-2. But then the Slovaks opened the throttle and won the game. The MVP for team Slovakia, Martin Kubovič, recorded 4 points (2+2).

Switzerland – Norway 3-2 OT (1-1, 0-0, 1-1 – 1-0)

Already the first quarterfinal match turned into a real drama. Hardly anyone expected that Switzerland might stumble already in this part of the elimination stage, but the reality wasn’t far from that. Following the evenly balanced beginning Switzerland went into the lead, which, however, lasted just under seven minutes. After Bjerknes’ equalizer the Norwegians got into the game and were the better team. In the remaining time, the fans saw only two more goals, one on each side, and the match went into overtime. After just thirty seconds of the extra time, Braillard scored the decider and clinched the semifinal spot for Switzerland.

Canada – Estonia 2-9 (1-4, 1-1, 0-4)

Estonia entered the match as a clear favorite, but Canada resisted long. The Baltic team won the first period relatively easily, but then slowed down the pace and the Canadians sensed their chance. However, the Estonians showed their experience in the end and secured their victory with four goals in the third period. The Canadian Valtteri Viitakoski posted two assists, while the Estonians Ken Pähn (1+2) and Kermo Uue (0+3) recorded three points.

Czech Republic – Denmark 10-1 (3-1, 4-0, 3-0)

The Thursday’s evening program was concluded by the clash between the home team of the Czech Republic and Denmark. In this match, the Prague championship broke the total attendance record of all previous world championships. The Czechs didn’t have a really dominant opening period, but they outclassed their opponents in the second and secured their advancement to the semifinals. Petri Kettunen’s players won the middle period 4-0 thanks to two goals by the Czech captain Matěj Jendrišák, who completed a hat-trick in the third. The Czechs then controlled the game until the very end and with a 10-1 victory they sailed through to the semifinals where they will face the winner of the match between Finland and Germany.