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2015 IIHF World Championship schedule, format, teams and TV coverage

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The 2015 IIHF World Championships begin on May 1 and run through May 17. Find information on the schedule, the teams, the format, the tournament's Olympic repercussions, and television coverage.

Rick Stewart/Getty Images

The 2015 IIHF World Championships kick off on Friday, May 1 in the Czech Republic.

The annual tournament, now in its 79th year, carries extra importance this year as it will help finalize seeding for the 2018 Winter Olympics, which will be held in Pyeongchang, South Korea. 2018 Olympic qualification is determined by a nation's cumulative finish in five tournaments: the 2014 Olympics and the 2012, 2013, 2014 and 2015 World Championships.

The higher a nation finished in each of those tournaments, they more points they were awarded according to an IIHF formula. Following the 2015 tournament, teams ranked in the top eight will qualify directly for the 2018 Olympics, while teams below the top eight will have to go through a number of qualification games in late 2015 and 2016.

The United States or Canada are likely not in danger of falling out of the top eight, aside from what would be a shockingly terrible performance at these 2015 Worlds. But Olympic qualification is very much on the line for a number of teams playing at this tournament, and it will be a subplot throughout the games, even as many of the NHL players participating don't know if they'll be allowed to play at those 2018 Olympic Games.

The teams

16 nations will compete in the 2015 Worlds. 14 of them qualified by finishing in the top 14 of last year's tournament, including the Czechs, which had an automatic bid anyway as the host nation. Austria and Slovenia qualified by finishing atop the lower Division 1A tournament in 2014, replacing Italy and Kazakhstan, who finished at the bottom of last year's Top Division tournament and were relegated to Division 1A for 2015.

The 16 nations are split into two groups of eight for the preliminary round.

Group A, which will play preliminary round games at O2 Arena in Prague, is as follows: Sweden (1 overall seed), Canada (4 seed), Czech Republic (5), Switzerland (7), Latvia (9), France (12), Germany (13), Austria (16).

Group B, which will play its preliminary round games at ČEZ Aréna in Ostrava, is as follows: Finland (2 overall seed), Russia (3), United States (6), Slovakia (8), Norway (10), Belarus (11), Slovenia (14), Denmark (15).

The format

Teams play the other seven nations in their group in the preliminary round. Because the IIHF is smarter than the NHL, teams are awarded three points for regulation wins, two points for overtime or shootout wins, one point for losing in overtime or a shootout, and zero points for a loss. The top four teams in each group after the conclusion of the preliminary round will advance to the playoff round.

The playoff round begins May 14 with four quarterfinal games. Winners advance to the semifinals the following day. The bronze and gold medal games will be held on Sunday, May 17 -- the final day of the tournament.

The rosters

National teams can still add players, and we should expect them to do so as NHL teams are eliminated from the Stanley Cup Playoffs. Visit each nation's hockey federation page (usahockey.comhockeycanada.ca, etc.), or the IIHF website for the most up-to-date player rosters.

Flyers players at the World Championships

Seven Philadelphia Flyers will play for their countries at the tournament, although no Flyers players will play for Team USA. Sean Couturier, Claude Giroux and Brayden Schenn will play for Canada; Michael Raffl will play for Austria; Mark Streit will play for Switzerland; Jakub Voracek will captain the Czech Republic; Oliver Lauridsen will play for Denmark.

Pierre-Edouard Bellemare of France and Steve Mason of Canada were likely to make their respective teams but opted not to play in the tournament. Bellemare underwent surgery on his shoulder earlier this month, while Mason simply wants to relax after an injury-filled NHL season.

The full tournament schedule

Round Group Date Visitor Home Location Status
Preliminary A Fri, May 1 Latvia Canada O2 Arena, Prague, CZE 10:15 AM EDT
Preliminary B Fri, May 1 Finland United States ČEZ Aréna, Ostrava, CZE 10:15 AM EDT
Preliminary A Fri, May 1 Sweden Czech Republic O2 Arena, Prague, CZE 2:15 PM EDT
Preliminary B Fri, May 1 Norway Russia ČEZ Aréna, Ostrava, CZE 2:15 PM EDT
Preliminary A Sat, May 2 Austria Switzerland O2 Arena, Prague, CZE 6:15 AM EDT
Preliminary B Sat, May 2 Denmark Slovakia ČEZ Aréna, Ostrava, CZE 6:15 AM EDT
Preliminary A Sat, May 2 Germany France O2 Arena, Prague, CZE 10:15 AM EDT
Preliminary B Sat, May 2 Slovenia Belarus ČEZ Aréna, Ostrava, CZE 10:15 AM EDT
Preliminary A Sat, May 2 Czech Republic Latvia O2 Arena, Prague, CZE 2:15 PM EDT
Preliminary B Sat, May 2 United States Norway ČEZ Aréna, Ostrava, CZE 2:15 PM EDT
Preliminary A Sun, May 3 Sweden Austria O2 Arena, Prague, CZE 6:15 AM EDT
Preliminary B Sun, May 3 Slovenia Russia ČEZ Aréna, Ostrava, CZE 6:15 AM EDT
Preliminary A Sun, May 3 Germany Canada O2 Arena, Prague, CZE 10:15 AM EDT
Preliminary B Sun, May 3 Slovakia Belarus ČEZ Aréna, Ostrava, CZE 10:15 AM EDT
Preliminary A Sun, May 3 Switzerland France O2 Arena, Prague, CZE 2:15 PM EDT
Preliminary B Sun, May 3 Finland Denmark ČEZ Aréna, Ostrava, CZE 2:15 PM EDT
Preliminary A Mon, May 4 Sweden Latvia O2 Arena, Prague, CZE 10:15 AM EDT
Preliminary B Mon, May 4 United States Russia ČEZ Aréna, Ostrava, CZE 10:15 AM EDT
Preliminary A Mon, May 4 Czech Republic Canada O2 Arena, Prague, CZE 2:15 PM EDT
Preliminary B Mon, May 4 Finland Norway ČEZ Aréna, Ostrava, CZE 2:15 PM EDT
Preliminary A Tue, May 5 Germany Switzerland O2 Arena, Prague, CZE 10:15 AM EDT
Preliminary B Tue, May 5 Belarus Denmark ČEZ Aréna, Ostrava, CZE 10:15 AM EDT
Preliminary A Tue, May 5 France Austria O2 Arena, Prague, CZE 2:15 PM EDT
Preliminary B Tue, May 5 Slovenia Slovakia ČEZ Aréna, Ostrava, CZE 2:15 PM EDT
Preliminary A Wed, May 6 Latvia Switzerland O2 Arena, Prague, CZE 10:15 AM EDT
Preliminary B Wed, May 6 Denmark Russia ČEZ Aréna, Ostrava, CZE 10:15 AM EDT
Preliminary A Wed, May 6 Canada Sweden O2 Arena, Prague, CZE 2:15 PM EDT
Preliminary B Wed, May 6 Norway Slovakia ČEZ Aréna, Ostrava, CZE 2:15 PM EDT
Preliminary A Thu, May 7 France Czech Republic O2 Arena, Prague, CZE 10:15 AM EDT
Preliminary B Thu, May 7 Belarus United States ČEZ Aréna, Ostrava, CZE 10:15 AM EDT
Preliminary A Thu, May 7 Germany Sweden O2 Arena, Prague, CZE 2:15 PM EDT
Preliminary B Thu, May 7 Slovenia Finland ČEZ Aréna, Ostrava, CZE 2:15 PM EDT
Preliminary A Fri, May 8 Austria Czech Republic O2 Arena, Prague, CZE 10:15 AM EDT
Preliminary B Fri, May 8 Norway Slovenia ČEZ Aréna, Ostrava, CZE 10:15 AM EDT
Preliminary A Fri, May 8 Latvia Germany O2 Arena, Prague, CZE 2:15 PM EDT
Preliminary B Fri, May 8 Denmark United States ČEZ Aréna, Ostrava, CZE 2:15 PM EDT
Preliminary A Sat, May 9 Canada France O2 Arena, Prague, CZE 6:15 AM EDT
Preliminary B Sat, May 9 Russia Belarus ČEZ Aréna, Ostrava, CZE 6:15 AM EDT
Preliminary A Sat, May 9 Latvia Austria O2 Arena, Prague, CZE 10:15 AM EDT
Preliminary B Sat, May 9 Slovakia Finland ČEZ Aréna, Ostrava, CZE 10:15 AM EDT
Preliminary A Sat, May 9 Switzerland Sweden O2 Arena, Prague, CZE 2:15 PM EDT
Preliminary B Sat, May 9 Norway Denmark ČEZ Aréna, Ostrava, CZE 2:15 PM EDT
Preliminary A Sun, May 10 Czech Republic Germany O2 Arena, Prague, CZE 10:15 AM EDT
Preliminary B Sun, May 10 United States Slovenia ČEZ Aréna, Ostrava, CZE 10:15 AM EDT
Preliminary A Sun, May 10 Canada Switzerland O2 Arena, Prague, CZE 2:15 PM EDT
Preliminary B Sun, May 10 Russia Slovakia ČEZ Aréna, Ostrava, CZE 2:15 PM EDT
Preliminary A Mon, May 11 Austria Germany O2 Arena, Prague, CZE 10:15 AM EDT
Preliminary B Mon, May 11 Belarus Finland ČEZ Aréna, Ostrava, CZE 10:15 AM EDT
Preliminary A Mon, May 11 France Sweden O2 Arena, Prague, CZE 2:15 PM EDT
Preliminary B Mon, May 11 Denmark Slovakia ČEZ Aréna, Ostrava, CZE 2:15 PM EDT
Preliminary A Tue, May 12 Austria Canada O2 Arena, Prague, CZE 6:15 AM EDT
Preliminary B Tue, May 12 Belarus Norway ČEZ Aréna, Ostrava, CZE 6:15 AM EDT
Preliminary A Tue, May 12 France Latvia O2 Arena, Prague, CZE 10:15 AM EDT
Preliminary B Tue, May 12 Slovakia United States ČEZ Aréna, Ostrava, CZE 10:15 AM EDT
Preliminary A Tue, May 12 Switzerland Czech Republic O2 Arena, Prague, CZE 2:15 PM EDT
Preliminary B Tue, May 12 Russia Finland ČEZ Aréna, Ostrava, CZE 2:15 PM EDT
Quarter-final
Thu, May 14 TBD TBD ČEZ Aréna, Ostrava, CZE 9:15 AM EDT
Quarter-final
Thu, May 14 TBD TBD O2 Arena, Prague, CZE 10:15 AM EDT
Quarter-final
Thu, May 14 TBD TBD ČEZ Aréna, Ostrava, CZE 1:15 PM EDT
Quarter-final
Thu, May 14 TBD TBD O2 Arena, Prague, CZE 2:15 PM EDT
Semifinal
Sat, May 16 TBD TBD O2 Arena, Prague, CZE 9:15 AM EDT
Semifinal
Sat, May 16 TBD TBD O2 Arena, Prague, CZE 1:15 PM EDT
Bronze
Sun, May 17 TBD TBD O2 Arena, Prague, CZE 10:15 AM EDT
Gold
Sun, May 17 TBD TBD O2 Arena, Prague, CZE 2:45 PM EDT

TV schedule for American viewers

All Team USA games will be streamed live through NBC's Live Extra app and at NBCSports.com. Five of seven USA preliminary games will be broadcast live on NBCSN, while the others will be broadcast on tape delay.

In Canada, TSN has full coverage of the 2015 World Championships with 58 of 64 tournament games broadcast live on its family of networks.

Date Game Network Game time (ET)
Fri., May 1 Team USA vs. Finland NBCSN (live) 10 a.m.
Sat., May 2 Team USA vs. Norway NBCSN (delay at 11 p.m.) 2 p.m.
Mon., May 4 Team USA vs. Russia NBCSN (live) 10 a.m.
Thur., May 7 Team USA vs. Belarus NBCSN (live) 10 a.m.
Fri., May 8 Team USA vs. Denmark NBCSN (live) 2 p.m.
Sun., May 10 Team USA vs. Slovenia NBCSN (delay at 3 p.m.) 10 a.m.
Tue., May 12 Team USA vs. Slovakia NBCSN (live) 10 a.m.
Thu., May 14 IIHF Quarterfinals NBCSN (live) 9 a.m.

IIHF Quarterfinals Live Extra app, TV TBD 10 a.m.

IIHF Quarterfinals Live Extra app, TV TBD 11:30 a.m.

IIHF Quarterfinals Live Extra app, TV TBD 1 p.m.

IIHF Quarterfinals Live Extra app, TV TBD 2 p.m.

IIHF Quarterfinals Live Extra app, TV TBD 11:30 p.m.
Sat., May 16 IIHF Semifinals Live Extra app, TV TBD 9:30 a.m.

IIHF Semifinals Live Extra app, TV TBD 1 p.m.
Sun., May 17 IIHF Bronze Medal Game Live Extra app, TV TBD 10 a.m.

IIHF Gold Medal Game NBCSN (live) 2:30 p.m.