4 Kings Advance to IIHF Quarterfinals, Knockout Round Begins Thursday Morning

Five LA Kings players enter, four LA Kings players remain.

The IIHF World Championships are set to progress to the knockout stages with four members of the organization participating in search of a medal. The quarterfinals will be held this morning, Pacific time, before the semifinals follow on Saturday and the gold and bronze medal games occur on Sunday. A look at the performances of Kings-affiliated players through pool play.

United States
Team USA played seven games in Group A. Team USA won all seven games, requiring overtime only in their final game against Sweden giving them 20 of a possible 21 points from the first stage of the tournament.

The Americans have been led offensively by Ontario Reign captain T.J. Tynan, who has 10 points (1-9-10) from seven games played. Tynan has centered a line in the middle six for Team USA throughout the event and has picked up his production throughout the back half of play, ranking in a tie for second in scoring in the tournament as a whole, as he carries a five-game point streak into the knockout stages. Tynan’s premier game was a four-point effort against France, as he recorded a goal and three assists, as he won 8-of-13 faceoffs with a +4 rating in 16:31 of ice time.

Tynan has been joined on Team USA by goaltender Cal Petersen, who has split the starts between the pipes with goaltender Casey DeSmith of the Pittsburgh Penguins. Petersen has won each of his three starts – wins over Hungary, Austria and France – as he’s posted a 3-0-0 record, with a .955 save percentage and a 0.72 goals-against average. His save percentage and goals-against average would rank third in the tournament in both categories, but having been swapped out late in the win over France to give third goaltender Drew Commesso some minutes, Petersen fell below the required threshold of 40 percent of minutes played to qualify. Still, a solid showing as Petersen approaches a massive offseason.

With their unblemished record, the United States will face Czechia, the fourth-seeded team from Group B, in the tournament’s first quarterfinal matchup. That game begins this morning at 6:20 AM Pacific time and should the US win, they would be guaranteed the opportunity to play for a medal.

Photo by Xavier Laine/Getty Images

Kings forward Kevin Fiala joined Team Switzerland following their second game of the tournament and helped lead his native country to the other top seed in the quarterfinals, as the winners of Group B. Switzerland lost just once, an overtime decision against Latvia in their final game of group play, as they posted a record of 6-0-1 for 19 points, the top mark in Group B.

Fiala missed early victories over the bottom two teams in the group, Slovenia and Norway, but posted five points (1-4-5) from five games played throughout the remainder of group play for a point-per-game. Fiala had two points in each of his team’s final two games against Czechia (0-2-2) and Latvia (1-1-2). With four assists and five points, Fiala ranks one shy of the team lead in each category entering the knockout round, despite playing in just five of his team’s seven games.

Fiala and Switzerland will faceoff against Team Germany in the other 1v4 quarterfinal matchup. Germany finished fourth in Group A. similar to the USA – Czechia matchup, the Switzerland – Germany game will begin at 6:20 AM Pacific time.

Entering the final game of group play, Team Sweden sat just one point behind the United States for the top seed in Group A, with the two unbeaten teams squaring off for the top seed entering the quarterfinals. The US was victorious in overtime, which placed Sweden as the second-seeded team from Group A heading into the knockout round.

Forward Carl Grundstrom appeared in all seven games for Sweden during the group stage, as he recorded a goal and an assist for two points and a +4 rating over the course of that stretch. Grundstrom scored his first goal of the tournament in a 4-1 victory over Denmark, while he tallied an assist in a victory over Hungary earlier in the tournament. Grundstrom also played more than 20 minutes against the United States, as he skated in 20:34 with two shots on goal to lead all forwards, including a team-high 7:52 during the third period.

Sweden will take on Latvia in the quarterfinals, after the host country placed third in Group B, courtesy of their group-stage ending victory over Fiala and Switzerland. Sweden will be the higher-seeded team, making it a “home” game, but they’ll be playing in Riga making it a heavily pro-Lativa atmosphere. The Sweden / Latvia tilt will begin at 10:20 AM Pacific.

Regarding Kings prospect Martin Chromiak, Team Slovakia came up just short in Group B, finishing in fifth place with 11 points. Chromiak scored one goal from five games played, with that goal coming in the tournament-opening game against Czechia.

The United States / Czechia game will air live on NHL Network tomorrow morning, as will the fourth quarterfinal matchup, which does not feature a Kings player, between Canada and Finland. The matchups featuring Fiala and Grundstrom will air on replay the following day at 9 AM and 11 AM respectively on NHL Network.

Should any Kings advance to the semifinals, each of the final four games of the tournament will air live on NHL Network. The semifinals are set to air at 4:20 AM and 8:20 AM on Saturday morning, while the bronze medal game will air at 5:20 AM on Sunday, followed by the gold-medal game at 10:20 AM later that morning. The last Kings to win gold in this tournament came in 2021, when Jaret Anderson-Dolan, Gabe Vilardi and Sean Walker took home medals with Team Canada.

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