Team USA Wins Bronze
After being shut out 3-0 by the then-undefeated Swiss national team in the semifinals, Team USA pulled out a 3-2 shootout victory over Finland to claim the bronze medal in the 2013 IIHF World Championship.
This marks the U.S. national team's first medal in the tournament since 2004 (bronze). Justin Faulk finished the tournament with six points (6a) in 10 games, and he paced Team USA in average ice time per game at 21:17. Jamie McBain posted two assists and nine shots on goal in 10 games.
Team USA Advances to Seminfinals, E. Staal Suffers Knee Injury
Team USA has advanced to Saturday's semifinals in the 2013 IIHF World Championship. The U.S. national team walloped the defending world champion Russian squad 8-3. The U.S., searching for its first tournament medal since 2004, will face the undefeated Swiss national team at 1 p.m. EST on Saturday on NBC Sports Network.
The Czech Republic and Canada both bowed out of the tournament with quarterfinal losses, but the biggest loss was Eric Staal, who went down with what looked to be an agonizing knee injury.
Late in the first period of Canada's match with Sweden (which they dropped 3-2 in a shootout), Staal was playing the puck on his backhand near the top of the far circle. Alexander Edler skated straight in from the blue line and collided knee-on-knee with Staal, who immediately dropped to the ice, writhing in pain. Staal had to be helped off the ice by his teammates, unable to put pressure on his right leg. Edler was given five minutes for kneeing and a game misconduct.
The extent of Staal's knee injury is unknown at this point, pending MRI results.
Canes in Worlds Move On to Quarterfinals
After 12 days of preliminary round play, the United States, Canada and Czech Republic have each advanced to the quarterfinals of the 2013 IIHF World Championship.
Team USA, which finished third in the Helsinki group at 5-2 (15 points), features Hurricanes defensemen Justin Faulk and Jamie McBain. Team Canada, which finished second in the Stokholm group with 18 points (five regulation wins, one overtime win, one OT loss), features forwards Eric Staal (captain of the team), Jordan Staal and Jeff Skinner and defenseman Jay Harrison. Forward Jiri Tlusty represents the Canes with the Czech Republic national team, which inched into the fourth and final qualifying spot in the Stockholm group with 11 points (three regulation wins, one OT win and three losses).
In search of their first medal in the tournament since 2004, Team USA will have to go through the Russian national team, which will receive an Alexander Ovechkin-shaped boost to their already potent offensive lineup for Thursday’s match. In their lone preliminary round meeting, the U.S. had a 3-2 lead in the second period, but the defending world champions scored three unanswered goals to claim a 5-3 victory.
Faulk led Team USA defensemen and ranked second among all tournament defensemen in points (6), all assists. His six assists ranked tied for first among all tournament skaters. Additionally, he paced the American squad in average ice time per game with 20:47.
McBain collected two assists in seven games, averaging 11:43 of ice time per game. He ranked third among team defenseman in shots with nine.
Skinner totaled four points (2g, 2a) and was a plus-4 in seven tournament games with the Canadian squad. His two goals were both game-winning tallies, and his third-period goal against the Czech Republic on May 12 clinched Team Canada’s quarterfinal berth in a 2-1 victory.
The Staal brothers each posted three points in seven games. Eric tallied three assists, and Jordan scored a goal and added two helpers. Jordan ranked tied for second on the team in plus/minus at plus-5.
Harrison recorded an assist and was plus-2 in seven games, and he logged 16:42 in average ice time per game.
Team Canada will face the Swedish national team in the quarterfinals. Led by Mike Smith’s 33 saves, the Canadian quad shut out the Swedes 3-0 in their preliminary round match-up.
Tlusty, who paced the Hurricanes in goals (23) this season, scored a timely goal in the World Championship prelims. Needing a win to advance to the quarterfinals, Tlusty’s first-period tally propelled the Czech national team to a commanding 7-0 victory over Norway. The 25-year-old forward added three assists for four tournament points, and he averaged 14:19 of ice time per game.
In the quarterfinals, the Czechs draw the upstart Swiss national team, which finished undefeated atop the Stockholm group. Even 2-2 after 40 minutes of play, Team Switzerland scored three goals in the final frame to top the Czech Republic 5-2 in their lone preliminary round meeting.
All four quarterfinal match-ups will be aired live on NBC Sports Network beginning with the USA-Russia game at 6 a.m. EST. The Czech Republic plays immediately after at 8:45 a.m. EST, and Canada rounds out the quarterfinal slate at 2:15 p.m. EST.
Semifinal action will take place in Stockholm on Saturday, May 18. In the semifinals, the winner of the 1v4 game meets the winner of the 2v3 game in the opposite group. For example, the winner of (1) Switzerland vs. (4) Czech Republic will face the winner of (2) Russia vs. (3) USA; likewise, the winner of (1) Finland vs. (4) Slovakia will face the winner of (2) Canada vs. (3) Sweden.
The annual tournament will draw to a close on Sunday with the bronze and gold medal games. Stateside television coverage (NBC Sports Network) of the semifinals and bronze and gold medal games has yet to be announced.
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