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How Team Czech Republic can win the World Cup

Ondrej Palat and Team Czech Republic are massive underdogs in the World Cup. But there is a particular path to victory. REUTERS/David W Cerny

Even with a complete roster, Team Czech Republic would have a hard time winning this year's World Cup of Hockey. By choice or by circumstance, the team is forging ahead without many of its top scorers and with the tournament's least experienced blue line. Is there a realistic path to victory for the Czech Republic?

The odds are certainly stacked against Team Czech Republic, who were slotted in Group A with Team Canada, Team USA and Team Europe. Because only two teams advance to the semifinal round, they need to dispatch fellow long-shot Team Europe in the round robin and achieve a flat-out upset against either the Americans or the Canadians.

Assuming the Czechs advance, the semifinal will be a single game against one of the two winners of Group B, which could include another underdog. Although that might be an ideal situation for an upset, the victor then faces the ultimate obstacle: a three-game series that will most assuredly be against one of the tournament's powerhouses.