NHL

World Cup of Hockey: Today's clinching scenarios

The World Cup of Hockey is down to its final day of group-stage play, with one semifinal berth up for grabs, along with three teams seeking their first win.

Russia win over Finland would put them in semis; U.S., Czechs play for pride

Alex Ovechkin and his Russian teammates will attempt to advance to Saturday's semifinals of the World Cup of Hockey with a regulation or overtime victory against winless Finland on Thursday afternoon in Toronto. A regulation or OT loss by Russia means North American would battle Canada on Saturday at 8 p.m. (Mark Blinch/Canadian Press)

The World Cup of Hockey is down to its final day of group-stage play, with one semifinal berth up for grabs, along with three teams seeking their first win.

Group A has been settled with Canada finishing first with a 3-0-0 record following Wednesday night's 4-1 victory over Europe, which also secured a spot in the elimination round with a 2-1-0 mark. The Czech Republic (0-1-1) and the U.S. (0-2-0) meet at 3 p.m. ET but have been eliminated from playoff contention. However, one of them will leave Toronto with its first win of the tournament.

Group B, meanwhile, has a winner in Sweden (2-0-1), with Russia looking to clinch the second semifinal berth. The Russians can do just that with a win over Finland (0-2-0) which has scored just one goal in two contests.

Here are the implications of Thursday's action in Toronto:

Group A

  • First-place Canada awaits the outcome of Thursday's Group B game between Finland and Russia. The Canadians could face either the Russians or North America in the semifinals on Saturday at 8 p.m.

Group B

  • Team Sweden clinched first place by earning a point in Wednesday's 4-3 overtime loss to North America and will play Europe in Sunday's semifinal at 1 p.m.
  • If Russia beats Finland on Thursday, it would be tied with North America with four points but win the tiebreaker by virtue of its 4-3 victory over the North Americans earlier in the tournament and face Canada on Saturday night. A regulation or OT loss by Russia means North America would play the Canadians.

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