IIHF World Championship Wraps Up First Round

The preliminary round of the IIHF  has come to a close and the quarterfinals are set to being on Thursday May 16th. Six Florida Panthers players began the tournament and five will will see another day with Marcel Goc, of Germany, the only Panther not to advance.

The quarterfinals will be contested between the top four teams in each division. Finland topped the Helsinki division and will take on fourth place Slovakia in the quarters, while Russia finished second in the division and will take on the third place finishing team USA. In the Stockholm division Switzerland came out on top followed by Canada, Sweden and the Czech Republic. Switzerland will face the Czech Republic while Canada will face Sweden, both games will be played on Thursday.

The Swiss team had an outstanding preliminary round winning all seven of their games, six in regulation, one in overtime, collecting 20 points. Canada and Finland were among the teams with one loss with Canada’s loss coming in overtime.

Illya Kovalchuk continues to lead the tournament in scoring with eight goals and five assists for fifteen points. Mike Smith of Canada and Reto Berra of Switzerland lead all goaltenders with save percentages of .957.

On the Florida Panthers front, Marcel Goc has been the most productive Panther racking up four assists in the preliminary round. Tomas Fleischmann is the only Panther to have found the back of the net so far putting away two for the Czech Republic. For Slovakia, Tomas Kopecky has been credited with two helpers. Brian Campbell has two assists as well to go along with a +7 rating, a team high, for Canada.

In the net Jacob Markstrom has performed well racking up two wins to go along with a .932 save percentage and a goals against average of 1.60. Markstrom has been splitting time with the Buffalo Sabres’ Jhonas Enroth who has also played well amassing a .941 save percentage and a goals against average of 1.30.

The remainder of the tournament will be played on a short schedule. All four quarterfinals games will take place on Thursday with the semis being played on Saturday. The gold and bronze medal games will be played on Sunday.

Tags: World Championships

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