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Game Day Open Thread: Day 7

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The first week of the tournament ends today, with the conclusion of the preliminary round for Groups A and C.  The powerful Russian team takes on Belarus early Group A action, with Washington Capitals goalie Semyon Varlamov becoming the third Russian goalie to start a game.  Belarus still has not guaranteed a spot for the next round, and even if Slovakia beats Kazakhstan later today to ensure that, Belarus currently would have no points carried over into the qaulification round, so this is a big game for them.  In early Group C action, France takes on Norway.  France needs a win to have a chance of advancing, while a win here by Norway would likely give them the second place spot in the group after their surprising win over the Czechs.  In later Group C action, Sweden and the Czech Republic play.

The early games are already started...  the puck dropped at 10:15 EST.  The later games run at 2:15 EST as per usual, but soon we'll be having different start times as they run 3 games per day at the arenas, so don't get too comfortable with this routine. 

The IIHF website is your best bet for watching the games, but again I must say it's not cheap if you haven't already bought the full package from them.  As far as I know, Universal Sports isn't airing any games on their network today, but I think if you bought the package from them you should be able to watch some hockey online there today.  In typical fashion, they aren't really showing much on their front page about broadcasts, so who knows. 

UPDATE:  Russia undefeated, Norway routs France

Russia 3, Belarus 1:  Russia started out strong, got a 3 goal lead, and went into protection mode in the 3rd to seal first place in Group A.  Their schedule for the qualfication round is set, they will play Germany on Saturday, Denmark on Sunday, and Finland on Tuesday.  Belarus has to await the result of Slovakia/Kazakhstan to see if they'll make the qualification round or not.

Norway 5, France 1:  France scored first, but Norway turned it on in the second and then blitzed the French in the third.  Things got ugly at the end of the game, with Norwegian goalie Pal Grotnes getting ejected and two of the better French players (Stephane Da Costa and Luc Tardif) getting misconducts for hits from behind.  France will open their relegation round action on Saturday vs. Italy, while Norway awaits the result of Sweden/Czech Republic to determine their qualification round schedule.