One day before the IIHF announces the roster for each of the nations competing at the 2012 World Hockey Championship in Helsinki and Stockholm, two teams revealed the latest additions. Meanwhile in other parts of Europe, the exhibition season for this year’s Worlds officially got under way.
Less than 24 hours after Florida's Game 7 loss in double overtime to the New Jersey Devils, Marcel Goc of the Panthers was announced as the latest addition to the German team. Denmark, having already named NHLers Lars Eller, Philip Larsen and Frans Nielsen to its squad, announced that Vancouver Canucks forward Jannik Hansen would also play.
While Denmark and Germany put the finishing touches on their rosters, other national teams faced off in pre-tournament games.
Mikko Maenpaa and Antti Pihlstrom to beat the Russians 2-0, with Kari Lehtonen of the Dallas Stars making 31 saves for the shutout. The game, part of the KAJOTbet Hockey Games, came at a cost for the Russians, who lost forward Viktor Tikhonov, possibly for the entire tournament, with a broken finger.
In Brno, Czech Republic, Sweden and the Czech Republic also faced off in an exhibition, with the Czechs using Tomas Plekanec’s third-period goal to snap a 3-3 tie. Petr Prucha scored into an empty net to seal a 5-3 win for the Czechs.
In the Skoda Cup, taking place in Bratislava, Slovakia, Mikhail Grabovski of the Toronto Maple Leafs tied the game 1-1 for Belarus early in the second period, but Germany got goals from five players to beat the Belarusians 5-2. Also at the Skoda Cup, former NHL forward Branko Radivojevic of Slovakia scored twice, including the tying goal with 22 seconds left in regulation, to tie Norway 4-4 and force extra time -- but Per-Age Skroder and Mats Trygg scored in the shootout and the Slovakians could not beat Norwegian goaltender Lars Haugen, giving Norway a 5-4 win.