It's that day, when it is time to say goodbye to Groups A, B, C, and D. With the introduction of Groups E and F, the hockey gets much more competitive. Today [May 11] two qualification round games are on tap at the 2006 IIHF World Championship, both to be held in Arena Riga.
Latvia, the third-place finisher in Group A, will face Canada, who came out on top of Group D after defeating the United States team 2-1 on May 9. Latvia vs. Canada will be the biggest game in the host country's history.
In a Group F qualifier, Russia, who won over Slovakia 4:3 on May 10, will play against Ukraine. Ukraine also insured their spot in the qualifying rounds by beating Italian team 4:2.
Some other qualifying round games include Friday's [May 11] Belarus-Sweden game and Sunday's Canada vs. Czech Republic tilt.
Group E is composed of the top three teams from Group A (Finland, Czech Republic, Latvia) and Group D (Canada, USA, Norway). Group F features the top three teams from Group B (Sweden, Switzerland, Ukraine) and Group C (Russia, Belarus, Slovakia).
These teams carry forward the points gained in the Preliminary Round with the teams that they have played and advance with. Teams, which have played in the Preliminary Round, do not meet again in the Qualifying Round. For example, Canada starts with four points from beating the USA and Norway, but the two points from the victory over Relegation Round-doomed Denmark don't count toward its qualifying round totals.
So let's wish all the luck to the qualified teams, as the championship is getting even more aggressive and intriguing!