so, here is my question

can anyone tell me why womens team usa got a bye for the quarter finals when Switz was first in their group and both Switz and Sweden scored more goals and had better goal differential?

I cannot see any basis for USA getting the bye.

Apparently they intentionally set it up so that Canada and the USA play in the round robin - but not meet in a semi-final. In other words they want the interest of a Canada - USA round robin game - so they put them in the same pool even though they are the Top 2 teams. And allow both to advance to opposite semi-finals - so that barrring a major upset in one of the quarterffinals they will meet again in the final.

This from Hockey News

The winner of Group B, in this case Switzerland, would normally receive a bye as well, but must play a quarterfinal against the fourth-place team in Group A, in this case the Olympic Athletes of Russia, to determine who meets Canada in one semifinal. USA meanwhile, goes directly to the semifinal despite finishing second in its group and will play the winner of the game between the second-place team in Group B (Sweden) and the third-place team in Group A (Finland).

The thought here is that this format both guarantees a compelling round-robin game between Canada and USA, but also that barring an upset of biblical proportions, the two hockey superpowers won’t meet in a semifinal game. It’s an interesting little gerrymandering of the format, but it works.


"but it works" not for me.

The only way this format changes is when one of two thing occur: the other countries get better, or either Canada/USA get weaker. The only way an upset is going to happen is if one of Canada or the US get too cocky and pull a Homan, thinking if they just show up they will win... the Americans are more prone to getting too high on themselves when it comes to women's hockey, thus more likely setting themselves up to lose.