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World Hockey Championships: Preliminary Round

The World Hockey Championships are underway in Stockholm, Sweden and Helsinki, Finland.  The preliminary round has completed earlier today in Europe.  An eight team group played in Helsinki and another one played in Stockholm.  Here are the results:

Helsinki Group:

1. Finland.  The host team won six and lost one.  Tw of their wins were in overtime.  In the World Championships point scheme this is 16 points - three points for a regulation win and two for an overtime win.  Petri Kontiola led the Finns in scoring with 12 points.  Juhamatti Aaltonen and Janne Pesonen provided some scoring depth.  Antti Raanta was their top goalie.

2. Russia.  They were probably the most dominant team in this group.  They had five wins and two losses and looked more dominant in their wins than Finland.  Ilya Kovalchuk has been the highest scorer in the tournament so far.  Alexander Radulov also was a top scorer.  Yevgeni Medvedev led their defence.  Ilya Bryzgalov has been their most successful goalie.  Surprisingly, Sergei Bobrovsky was not added to the team.

3. USA.  They also posted a 5-2 record alongside Russia but were not as dominant in their wins.  Since they lost in their game with Russia 5-3 they take third.  Paul Stastny and Craig Smith led their offence.  Justin Faulk was their top defenceman.  Ben Bishop was their top goalie.

4. Slovakia.  They posted a 3-4 record for 10 points as one loss was in overtime.  Tomas Zaborsky and Roman Kukumberg led them offensively.  Rastislav Stana has done most of their goaltending.

5. Germany.  They also posted a 3-4 record.  One win was in overtime and one loss in overtime.  This gave them nine points.  Christian Ehrhoff led their offence with five points scored from defence.  Michael Wolf and Marcel Goc also were offensive leaders.  Rob Zepp was their top goalie.

6. Latvia.  They posted a 2-5 record with an overtime loss.  Their team was led by Laurens Darzins and Janis Sprukts.  Kristers Gudlevskis was their top goalie.

7. France.  They had an identical record to Latvia, but they lost against the Latvians 3-1 so they finish seventh.  Damien Fleury and Julien Desrosiers led their offence.  Cristobal Huet was their top goaltender.

8. Austria.  They finished last in this group with a 2-5 record with one win in overtime.  Thomas Vanek and Thomas Hundertpfund led them offensively.  Bernhard Starkbaum was their top goalie. 

Here are the results from the group played in Stockholm:

1. Switzerland.  The Swiss went undefeated in the preliminary round.  They required overtime to beat Canada, so they did not get a maximum point total, but they came close.  Denis Holenstein, Nino Niederreiter and Reto Suri led their offence.  Roman Josi had a strong round on defence.  Martin Gerber was their top goalie.

2. Canada.  They posted a 6-1 record with an overtime loss to Switzerland and an overtime win against Slovenia.  Offensively, Steve Stamkos led the way with 11 points.  Claude Giroux was also a big contributor, with Justin Schultz pitching in on defence.  Devan Dubnyk has been their top goalie. 

3. Sweden.  Host Sweden was 5-2.  Fredrik Pettersson and Loui Eriksson led their scoring.  Johan Fransson was a strong contributor from defence.  Jhonas Enroth was their top goalie.

4. Czech Republic.  They posted a 4-3 record with an overtime win.  Jakub Voracek and Jiri Hudler led their offence.  Zbynek Michalek was a top contributor on defence.  Ondrej Pavelec was their top goalie.

5. Norway.  They posted a 3-4 record.  Anders Bastiansen and Ken Andre Olimb led their offence.  Mats Trygg was their top defenceman.  Lars Haugen was their top goaltender.

6. Denmark.  They had a 2-5 record with one win and one loss coming in overtime.  Kim Staal and Morten Madsen were top offensive players.  Stefan Lassen led their defence.  Simon Nielsen was their top goalie.

7. Belarus.  They had a 1-6 record.  This team had little offence.  Only Konstantin Koltsov managed two goals in the preliminary round.  Vitali Belinski was their top goalie.

8. Slovenia.  They didn't win any games but had two losses require overtime (against Denmark and Canada).  Going to overtime with Canada is as good as a win for this team.  Rok Ticar was an offensive success with six points and Baz Gregorc led their defence.  Robert Kristan was their top goaltender.

The playoffs will begin in the tournament now that the preliminary round is over.  The top four teams in each group qualify.  Teams stay in their preliminary groups for the playoffs.  Thus Finland meets Slovakia and Russia meets USA in the Helsinki group and Switzerland meets the Czech Republic and Canada meets Sweden in the Stockholm group.  These games are played on Thursday.

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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.

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