Czechs win group, put pressure on Canada to reach quarters

Canadians need regulation win, regulation result in Finland-Sweden to clinch bye

Czechs win group, put pressure on Canada to reach quarters
The Czech Republic's men's hockey team advanced directly to the quarter-finals with a win over Switzerland. © David W. Cerny/Reuters

By CBC Sports

The Czech Republic denied Canada a chance at winning Group A by defeating Switzerland 4-1 at the Winter Olympics in Pyeongchang, South Korea.

Michal Repik scored twice for the Czechs, with Dominik Kubalik and Roman Cervenka also adding goals in the win.

The Canadians can still clinch a bye into the quarter-finals with a regulation win over South Korea and a regulation result in the Sweden-Finland game; the three group winners and the team with the next best record overall advance directly to the quarters.

Canada would have seven points with a regulation win, but six with an overtime or shootout victory. If the Sweden-Finland game isn't settled in regulation, the losing team would finish with seven points.

Should a points tie between Canada and either Sweden or Finland occur, the first tie-breaker is the head-to-head game. Since Canada is in a different group than the two Scandinavian countries, the second tie-breaker — goal differential — would be required. Canada has a plus-three mark heading into the South Korea game, compared to Finland's plus-seven and Sweden's plus-five.

As for Canada's outlook for its final group-stage game, South Korea has lost both of its contests so far in regulation — 2-1 to the Czechs and 8-0 to Switzerland. Puck drop is at 7:10 a.m. ET.

With files from Tim Wharnsby