Canada and Sweden Lock Up Top Spots At Worlds

Rasmus Dahlin

Five Sabres players complete preliminary round unbeaten

All six Buffalo Sabres players at the 2024 IIHF World Championships in Czechia have advanced to the quarter-final beginning on Thursday, and five of them play for clubs that finished in the top spot in their respective groups.

In Group A, Canada finished in first, with seven wins (two coming in overtime), thanks primarily to the performance of Dylan Cozens.

The Sabres forward led Canada with 10 points and the tournament with eight goals. The 23-year-old scored goals in six straight games after being shutout in the tournament opener against Great Britain and scored two goals in the two final round-robin games against Switzerland and Czechia.

Defensemen Owen Power and Bowen Byram have also been prominent in the tournament. Power has been averaging over 20 minutes in most of Canada’s contests and has five points (1 goal, 4 assists) in seven games. Byram has four points (1 goal, 3 assists) in six games and has been mostly playing second-pairing minutes.

Canada will take on Slovakia in the quarter-final opener on Thursday.

In Group B, Sweden finished a perfect 7-0, but as with most international tournaments, their success in the preliminary round has not been the same in elimination games. The quarter-final match on Thursday will be difficult, as they take on arch-rival Finland.

Rasmus Dahlin had an assist in a 6-1 victory over Slovakia on Tuesday and finished with five points (1 goal, 4 assists) in seven games, as well as 29 penalty minutes after being ejected for charging in a game against Latvia. Victor Olofsson also had an assist against the Slovaks and finished with four points (1 goal, 3 assists) in six games.

Germany finished third in Group B behind Sweden and the United States and will play Switzerland on Thursday. Sabres winger J-J Peterka started slow in the tournament but finished with nine points (5 goals, 4 assists) in seven games.

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