Belarus, Germany relegated

JAN.4 -- Switzerland defeated Sweden and Germany to finish top of the standings of the relegation tournament with a perfect 3-0 record. Patrick Bartschi recorded two goals and as many helpers to lead his team's offense in 5-3 and 6-2 wins against Tre Kronor and Deutschland respectively.

Sweden finished at a safe second spot thanks to a narrow 5-4 victory over Belarus on Saturday.

Germany claimed the third spot with its only triumph of the event over the winless Vladimir Melenchuk's side on Saturday. However both teams leave WJC's top division in favor of Austria and Ukraine for the next year's event which will take place in Finland.

Slovakia blanked Czech Republic 2-0 in the placement game for the fifth sixth spots.

So much for all the talks of the Russian Group A being inferior to Canadian B pool - worth noticing that the A pool teams had a 5-4 edge in direct competition with the B pool sides prior to Sunday's bronze and gold medal games.

Swede Ulf Radbjer will be officiating the final between Russia and Canada on Sunday. Although Radbjer isn't a perfect choice, Team Russia shall thank the All Mighty himself for not drawing Danny Kurman... As far as my personal opinion - WJC top referees were ... Russian Alexander Polyakov and (we guess) Japan's Rob Matsuoka.

-- Max Dostoevsky

(C) RSB