This is what we've been waiting for. Win and advance. Lose and you're out of medal contention. So uh....no pressure.
Here's what we'll be talking about today in this gamethread. I'd recommend closing right now if you're on DVR mode to watch the games later. Don't say I didn't warn you....spoilers ahead. In big blinking flashing lights.
2:00 AM CST - Sweden vs Slovakia
I want to say that I feel good that Sweden will take out Slovakia, but I don't know here. Slovakia has improved as the tournament has moved on, but Sweden has always been considered a medal contender. I'm going with a Sweden win, but I think it'll be closer than many expect. 3-1 Sweden on the empty netter to seal their semifinal bid.
6:30 AM CST - Finland vs Russia
With Kari Lehtonen expected to be the backup, I'm cheering that there's less of a chance he does something to that groin he always struggles with. Tuuuuuukkkkkk (is that how it's done Bruins fans?) I'm hoping to see Valeri Nichushkin get more than three minutes of ice time, but I'm not sure it will happen. Even with all of his puck possession. This one is too close for me to call so I'm going to hope for bonus hockey for fun.
11:00 AM CST - Canada vs Latvia
Jamie Benn reunites with duckies Corey Perry and Ryan Getzlaf. He seems to be the guy they're moving around to 'get guys going' so it'll be interesting how he performs with this duo. I'll allow only Jamie Benn goals from this line, thanks though Corey and Ryan. I think Canada's goaltending saves them in this matchup, and they win 4-3. (Bonus points for a Benn hat trick, Canada.)
11:00 AM CST - USA vs Czech Republic
USA! USA! USA! I say they advance by beating Jaromir Jagr's team 4-1.