OTTAWA - The championship directorate approved a swap of the two quarterfinals. USA vs. Slovakia play at 15.30, while Russia and Czechs go at 19.30 on Friday, January 2.
So the quarterfinal setup now looks like this:
Quarterfinal #1 pits USA against Slovakia at 15:30.
Quarterfinal #2 pits Russia against the Czech Republic at 19:30.
On January 3, in the semifinals, the winner of Quarterfinal #1 plays Sweden. That game is at 15:30. The winner of Quarterfinal #2 plays Canada.
"We switched the quarterfinal times in order to ensure that each quarterfinal winner will have an equal amount of time to rest prior to its semifinal game," explained championship chairman Frank Gonzalez. "Since the early quarterfinal winner will now play in the early semifinal and the late quarterfinal winner will play in the late semifinal, this is in accord with IIHF regulations."
There will be a 10-minute overtime period if any of the quarterfinals or semifinals are tied after the end of regulation. If the game is still tied after overtime, a shootout will follow.
(Nathan also is a writer for Maineiacs Post to Post and the Maine Hockey Journal. He can be reached at email@example.com)