The 2016 IIHF World Championship continued the preliminary round this week which featured round-robin group play. The Colorado Avalanche has seven players representing their respective countries at the tournament, including several prospects. The games are taking place in Moscow and St. Petersburg, Russia, and the tournament runs through May 22.
Goaltender Reto Berra is representing Team Switzerland for the fifth-straight time at the Worlds. The Swiss started the week strong, beating Denmark 3-2 in overtime on Tuesday and Latvia 5-4 on Wednesday. Switzerland finished the week with two losses, falling 5-1 to Russia on Saturday and 3-2 to Sweden in a shootout on Sunday. Berra had 26 saves in 63:46 of ice time in Tuesday win against Denmark and stopped 13 shots in Wednesday’s victory versus Latvia. He also made 33 saves in both Saturday and Sunday’s losses. Berra is 3-2 at the tournament. Switzerland plays its final game of the preliminary round on Tuesday against the Czech Republic.
American JT Compher has played in all of Team USA’s game so far and has a goal and an assist. He netted his first marker of the competition in the United States’ 4-0 shutout over France on Thursday. On Friday, he went 6-for-11 in the faceoff circle (54.55 percent) in the USA’s 5-1 victory against Hungary. The center registered his first assist of the tournament on Sunday when the United States lost 3-2 to Germany. Team USA closes the first round of play against Slovakia on Tuesday.
Defenseman Anton Lindholm is representing Sweden for the first time at this tournament. The Swedes defeated Kazakhstan 7-3 on Wednesday and beat Norway 3-2 on Saturday. On Sunday, Sweden beat Switzerland 3-2 in a shootout. It was Lindholm’s first World Championship game. He finished with a minus-1 rating in 19:18 of ice time. Sweden faces Russia on Tuesday to end the preliminary round.
Forward Mikko Rantanen captained Finland to a gold medal at the 2016 IIHF World Junior Championship in January and is also representing his country at this event. Finland remained undefeated as the team shutout Hungary 3-0 on Wednesday and defeated France 3-1 on Saturday. On Sunday, Rantanen made his 2016 World Championship debut in Finland’s 5-0 victory over Slovakia. He had one shot and a plus-1 rating in 9:48 of playing time. Finland takes on Canada, which is also unbeaten, on Tuesday to determine the top seed from Group B.
Fort Wayne Komets
The Fort Wayne Komets started the Western Conference Finals with a 5-3 loss to the Allen Americans on Friday in the opening contest of the series. The Komets also lost 3-2 in overtime in Game 2 on Sunday.
On Friday, Troy Bourke had a three-point outing with a goal and two assists. Trevor Cheek scored twice and assisted on Bourke’s marker.
On Sunday, Garrett Meurs and Bourke each found the back of the net. Gabriel Beaupre also registered a helper, his second of the playoffs.
Bourke is second on the team in postseason scoring with 15 points (seven goals, eight assists). During the regular season, he had 11 points (five goals, six assists) in nine games with the Komets and nine points (two goals, seven assists) in 56 contests with the San Antonio Rampage of the AHL.
The Komets travel to Allen for games on Thursday and Saturday, respectively. If necessary, Game 5 will be played in Allen on Sunday.
Rouyn-Noranda Huskies: The Rouyn-Noranda Huskies defeated the Shawinigan Cataractes in five games to win the President Cup for the first time in franchise history. Shawinigan defeated the Huskies 6-4 in Game 4 on Tuesday to avoid a sweep. However, Rouyn-Noranda skated to a 7-2 victory to win the series on Friday.
Left wing AJ Greer had a goal and two assists in Friday’s victory. He skated in all 20 playoff games for the Huskies and finished third on the team in postseason scoring with 22 points (12 goals, 10 assists). He skated in 33 regular-season games for Rouyn-Noranda and totaled 27 points (16 goals, 11 assists) and a plus-8 rating.
Forward JC Beaudin did not find the scoresheet on Tuesday and did not play on Thursday due to an injury. This postseason, he skated in 17 contests and registered 19 points (seven goals, 12 assists), ranking him fifth on the team. He recorded 82 points (33 goals, 49 assists) in 58 outings in the regular campaign, owned a plus-46 rating and finished the year third on his club in scoring.
Assistant captain Julien Nantel played on both Tuesday and Thursday but did not tally any points. He finished the playoffs with eight points (four goals, four assists) in 20 outings. During the regular season, Nantel collected 46 points (22 goals, 24 assists) in 52 contests and had a plus-24 rating.
Winning the QMJHL championship qualified the Huskies to play in the Memorial Cup tournament. Rouyn-Noranda faces the Brandon Wheat Kings (WHL) on Saturday, the Red Deer Rebels (WHL) on Sunday and the London Knights (OHL) on Tuesday for the round-robin portion of the tournament.