The 2011 IIHF World Hockey Championships is well on its way as it moves from the tournament preliminary rounds to the tournament’s qualifying rounds. Already in day nine of the tournament, four teams have been relegated and the remaining 12 teams will battle it out for gold.
As teams teams fall in the second round of the NHL playoffs, reinforcements are on the way for some countries. The biggest addition to the tournament will be Washington Capitals captain Alex Ovechkin for team Russia. Other notable additions are Columbus Blue Jackets forward Antoine Vermette for team Canada, and young tender Jack Campbell for team USA.
Reigning champs the Czech Republic finished the preliminary round a perfect 3-0 and are gearing up for a repeat run at gold. Also going undefeated in the preliminary round was team Canada who also led the tournament in goals for with 17.
Leading the tournament in goals is Sweden’s Patrik Berglund with five goals in four games. Leading the tournament in scoring is Norway’s Mathis Olimb with nine points in four games.
The top goalie thus far in the tournament and the talk of the town is Swedish tender Viktor Fasth. The 28 yr old goalie is sporting a GAA of 0.67 with a SV% of 0.967. Having won the three games he has started, Fasth also has two shutouts. Normally suiting up for AIK Stockholm in the Swedish Elite League, Fasth is the winner of the 2010-11 Honken Trophy as the Swedish Elite League Goalie of the year trophy. Blue Line Station takes a look as the interest Fasth is garnering from a few NHL teams. With Ottawa looking to solidify their goaltending situation, could Fasth be on their radar?
As for your Ottawa Senators representing their countries at the tournament, most are having a pretty good tournament. Team Canada’s Jason Spezza has seen his role on the team increase as he began the tournament as a third line centre and has since moved up on to one of the top two lines. With two goals in the tournament so far, Spezza has three points in four games and is starting to become a leader for the young Canadian squad.
Milan Michalek is having a great tourney with the reigning champs the Czech Republic. In the four games he has played, Michalek has three goals and four points. Ryan Shannon has notched three assists for team USA, while Stephen Da Costa has one assist for team France. Sens prospect Jakob Silfverberg has no points in four games for team Sweden but has played admirably for his ice time as a two-way forward.
Here are the remaining groups moving on and schedule for the tournament’s qualifying round.
There are 12 teams that have made it through to the Qualifying Round.
For more information about the format, click here.
The 12 teams that have advanced to the Qualifying Round are:
Canada, Russia, USA, Sweden, Finland, Czech Republic, Switzerland, Slovakia, Norway, Denmark, France and Germany.
The four teams that will play in the relegation round are:
Slovenia, Belarus, Austria and Latvia
Here are the new groupings for the Qualifying Round:
GROUP E (QUALIFYING)
GROUP F (QUALIFYING)
GROUP G – RELEGATION
Here is the Game Schedule for the Qualifying Round
SATURDAY, MAY 7, 2011
SUNDAY, MAY 8, 2011
|Russia||vs||Czech Republic||10:15 AM|
MONDAY, MAY 9, 2011
|Czech Republic||vs||Germany||2:15 PM|
Here is the TSN broadcast schedule for the Qualifying round:
|Saturday, May 7||Qualifying: Canada vs. Norway||10am/7am||TSN|
|Qualifying: USA vs. France||2pm/11am||TSN|
|Monday, May 9||Qualifying: Switzerland vs. USA||10am/7am||TSN|
|Qualifying: Canada vs. Sweden||2pm/11am||TSN|
Enjoy the Qualifying Round and some great international puck.
Thanks for reading and as always, comments are welcomed.
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