U.S. hockey team squeaks into World Championship quarterfinals; matchups

Brock Nelson
Getty Images

The U.S. men’s hockey team made the World Championship quarterfinals for a sixth straight year, qualifying last from its group, and will face the Czech Republic in Thursday’s elimination game in Russia.

The U.S. needed one point from its final preliminary game with Slovakia on Tuesday and got it by reaching overtime, though it lost 3-2 and ranked fourth in its eight-team group. The top four advanced to the quarterfinals — Canada, Finland, Germany and the U.S.

In the quarterfinals, the U.S. plays the Czech Republic on Thursday at 9:15 a.m. ET in Moscow (NBCSN and NBC Sports Live Extra), while Russia, Sweden and Denmark also advanced from the Czech group.

The U.S. earned bronze medals two of the last three years at Worlds, beating the Czech Republic in the 2015 bronze-medal game.

The four quarterfinals:

U.S.-Czech Republic
Canada-Sweden (plays U.S.-Czech winner in semis)
Finland-Denmark (plays Russia-Germany winner in semis)

MORE: 2018 Olympic hockey groups announced