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World Hockey Championships - Preliminary Round

The so-called World Hockey Championships are underway in Slovakia in the cities of Bratislava and Kosice.  This tournament, though interesting, is misnamed because many of the best players in the world are playing in the Stanley Cup playoffs and are thus absent from the “World Championships”.

The tournament opens with the sixteen teams organized into four groups of four teams each for the preliminary round.  These groups each play a round robin.  The three top teams in each group advance to a qualifying round.

Here are the preliminary round results:

Group A 1. Germany  This team is the surprise winner of group A.  They defeated Russia in a 2-0 opening game upset.  Felix Schutz led the way offensively with Frank Hordler leading their defence.  Dennis Endras was their top goaltender.

2. Russia   Russia was surprised to not win their group.  Ilya Kovalchuk led the way with five points and was followed offensively by Alexander Radulov and Alexei Kaigorodov.  Evgeni Nabokov has been their top goalie.

3. Slovakia   The Slovaks are the third team to escape the preliminary round in this group.  Multiple point scorers on this team were ex-NHLers Miroslav Satan, Lubos Bartecko and Pavol Demitra.  Jaroslav Halak was their top goaltender.

4. Slovenia  The Slovenians were overmatched in this group.  Their only multiple point scorers were Bostjan Golicic and Robert Sabolic.  Robert Kristan played well in goal to keep them from being blown out. 

Group B 1. Canada  The Canadians were dominant in this group.  They scored 17 goals in their three games so far.  Jeff Skinner and John Tavares lead the way with five points each.  Alex Pieterangelo led their defence.  James Reimer was their top goaltender.

2. Switzerland  The Swiss finished second in this group.  Ryan Gardner and Ivo Ruthemann led the way offensively.  Tobias Stephan played well in goal as this team played a defensive system.

3. France  The French team was led offensively by Sacha Treille and Kevin Hecquefeuille on defence.  Cristobal Huet was their goaltender and allowed the team to play a defensive shell.

4. Belarus  The Belarusians were overmatched.  They only scored three goals with Andrei Stepanov their only multiple point scorer.  Andrei Mezin was their goaltender.

Group C 1. Sweden  The Swedes won this group despite a loss to Norway.  Patrik Berglund and Robert Nilsson led the way offensively with David Petrasek leading their defence.  Viktor Fasth took over as their goaltender after Erik Ersberg failed in the Norway game.

2. USA  Sweden was the only team to beat the Americans, who were led by Craig Smith and Derek Stepan.  Kevin Shattenkirk led their defence.  Al Montoya was their goaltender.

3. Norway  An upset of Sweden gave this team a strong showing despite a third place finish.  Anders Bastiansen and Mathis Olimb lead the tournament so far with seven points each.  Lars Haugen was their goaltender.

4. Austria   The Austrians were overmatched.  Marco Pewal scored the only goal for this team.  Jurgen Penker was their top goaltender.

Group D 1. Czech Republic   The Czechs dominated this group winning all three games, scoring 12 times and allowing only three goals.  Milan Michalek and Michael Frolik led the way offensively and Marek Zidlicky led their defence.  Ondrej Pavelec was their goaltender.

2. Finland  The Finns finished second in this group.  Jarkko Immonen and Mikael Granlund led the way offensively.  Jyrki Valivaara has been their top scorer from defence.  Petri Vahanen was their top goaltender.

3. Denmark  The Danes were held to four goals.  Three were scored by Mads Cristensen and the other by Nichlas Hardt.  Frederik Andersen was their top goaltender.

4. Latvia  Latvia played some strong games but was unable to win any of their three games.  Mikelis Redlihs and Martins Cipulis led the way offensively.  Edgars Masalskis was their goaltender.

In the qualifying round, the group A and D teams are combined to one group.  This includes the Czech Republic, Germany, Finland, Russia, Slovakia and Denmark.  These teams bring with them their results in the preliminary round when they played one another.  Games versus the eliminated teams as not counted.  These teams will play against the teams on their group that were in the crossover group.  Group B and C are combined into the other group.  This consists of Canada, Sweden, Switzerland, USA, Norway and France.  The top four teams in each qualifying group will make the tournament playoffs.

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imageThe Puck Stops Here was founded during the 2004/05 lockout as a place to rant about hockey. The original site contains over 1000 posts, some of which were also published on FoxSports.com.

Who am I? A diehard hockey fan.

Why am I blogging? I want to.

Why are you reading it? ???

Email: y2kfhl@hotmail.com