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Quarterfinal Matchups Set at Worlds

by Aaron Lopez / Colorado Avalanche
Avalanche defensemen John-Michael Liles (United States) and Ruslan Salei (Belarus) have helped their respective countries advance to the quarterfinal round at the 2009 International Ice Hockey Federation Men’s World Championship in Berne and Zurich-Kloten, Switzerland.


Team USA will face off against Finland on Wednesday, while Belarus will take on Russia earlier that day. Listed here are the quarterfinal matchups:

Wed, May 6

Russia-Belarus, 8:15 a.m. MT
Finland-USA, 12:15 p.m. MT

Thur, May 7
Canada-Latvia, 8:15 a.m. MT
Sweden-Czech Republic, 12:15 p.m. MT

The winner of Russia-Belarus will play the winner of Finland-United States, while the winner of Canada-Latvia will face the winner of Sweden-Czech Republic. Both semifinals will be played on Friday, May 8. The gold and bronze medal games will be played on Sunday, May 10.

Meanwhile, Colorado prospect Jonas Holos (Norway) and his teammates didn’t rack up enough points to move on and were eliminated in the qualification round.


John-Michael Liles – United States
Liles has helped Team USA advance to the quarterfinals by posting seven points (1g/6a) through six games, a total that ties him for the team lead with Edmonton Oilers forward Patrick O’Sullivan (4g/3a).  Liles’ seven points lead all American defensemen and place him in a tie for second among all tournament defensemen, trailing only Canada’s Shea Weber (10 pts). Click here for Team USA stats

Liles had been the only American to register a point in each of USA’s first five games prior to being held scoreless in Monday’s 4-3 overtime loss to Switzerland. The Indianapolis native assisted on the United States’ lone goal in a 4-1 loss to Russia on Saturday.

The Americans finished the qualification round with eight points, posting a 2-0-2-1 record (W-OTW-OTL-L) and ranking third in Group E.

Next up for Team USA will be a quarterfinal match-up on Wednesday with Finland, which topped Canada by a 4-3 count in overtime on Monday and finished second in Group F with 11 points (2-2-1-0).

Joe Sacco is also representing the Avalanche organization at the IIHF World Championship. Sacco, the head coach for the AHL's Lake Erie Monsters, is serving as an assistant coach for Team USA under head coach Ron Wilson.


Ruslan Salei – Belarus
Salei has also led his native country to a berth in the quarterfinal round, where Belarus will square off with Russia on Wednesday.

Belarus capped off qualification-round play with a 0-3-0-2 record (six points), earning the fourth spot in Group F. Russia won Group E by taking 14 of a possible 15 points (4-1-0-0).

Salei wore the captain’s ‘C’ for his club’s match-up with Finland on Saturday, a contest that ended in a 2-1 overtime loss for Belarus. The blueliner notched one shot on goal in 29:16 of ice time.

Salei did not play on Sunday as Belarus dropped a 3-0 decision to the Czech Republic.

Overall, Salei leads Belarus in average ice time (29:26) and ranks third on the club’s scoring chart with four points (1g/3a). Click here for Belarus stats


Jonas Holos – Norway
Team Norway wrapped up the qualification round with an 0-0-2-3 (two points), placing the club sixth in Group F and out of medal contention.

Holos skated for 21:07 in Sunday’s 5-1 loss to Canada and then logged 23:30 of ice time and fired four shots on goal as Norway finished up the qualification round on Monday with a 3-2 overtime loss to Slovakia.

The defenseman did not record any points in six games, but finished second on the club in average ice time (24:20) and totaled 15 shots on goal. Click here for Norway stats


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