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World Championship Update: May 11

by Aaron Lopez / Colorado Avalanche
Avalanche prospect Jonas Holos and Team Norway earned a historic victory over the Czech Republic, while three Avalanche players faced off when Belarus took on Slovakia on Tuesday at the 2010 IIHF Men’s World Championship in Germany.


Norway Gets Into The Win Column
After opening the tournament with a 5-2 loss to Sweden on Sunday, Holos and Team Norway pulled out a monumental 3-2 victory over the Czech Republic today. It marked the first time in 73 years (18 games) that Norway had defeated the Czechs at the World Championship or the Olympics.

Norway jumped out to a 1-0 lead in the first period on a Mats Zuccarello Aasen tally and never trailed in the contest. After taking a 3-1 lead early in the final frame, Czech Republic forward Jaromir Jagr made things interesting by scoring his second goal of the contest with 6:51 remaining in regulation. But Norway shut the door down the stretch to earn its first victory of the tournament.

Holos saw 29:09 of ice time for Norway (second only to teammate Tommy Jakobsen’s 32:20) and finished with a +1 plus/minus rating.

Next Up For Norway: Holos and Team Norway will play their third and final preliminary round game Thursday against France, a team that is winless at the event after losing to the Czech Republic on Sunday and Sweden today.

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Slovakia Overcomes Belarus’ Quick Start
Ruslan Salei and Belarus jumped out to an early 2-0 lead over Peter Budaj, Marek Svatos and Slovakia, but the Slovakian squad fired off four unanswered goals to earn a 4-2 victory on Tuesday.

Budaj started in goal for Slovakia for the second consecutive game and shook off the two early Belarus tallies, making 25 saves to help his club earn its first victory of the tournament. Through two contests, Budaj has posted a 1-1 record with a .933 save percentage and a 2.02 goals-against average.

Marek Svatos led all Team Slovakia forwards with 18:28 of ice time, but was held without a point. Svatos recorded one shot on goal and a -1 plus/minus rating.

Salei, who is serving as Belarus’ captain at the World Championship, had a team-high 25:35 of ice time, totaling one shot on goal and a +1 plus/minus rating. Through two games at the tournament, Salei has recorded two points (1g/1a) while averaging 24:48 of ice time.

Next Up For Slovakia: Budaj, Svatos and Slovakia will finish the round robin portion of their schedule Thursday against Kazakhstan.

Next Up For Belarus: Salei and Belarus will close out the preliminary round Thursday by facing Russia.

What’s On Tap
T.J. Galiardi, Joe Sacco and Team USA will aim for their first victory of the tournament on Wednesday, while Kyle Cumiskey, Matt Duchene and Team Canada look to remain undefeated at the event.

United States/Finland: Currently tied with Germany at the bottom of Group D with two points, the Americans are in danger of being sent to the relegation round. A victory over Finland in either regulation or overtime would guarantee the U.S. a spot in the qualification round. A handful of additional scenarios could take place as well that would lead to Team USA advancing. For example, Germany plays Denmark earlier in the day, and a German regulation loss (giving the team two points overall in the tournament) coupled with a U.S. overtime loss (meaning Team USA would finish with three points) would also help the Americans move on to the qualification round.

Canada/Switzerland:
Things aren’t quite so complicated for Team Canada. Already assured of a berth in the qualification round, the team will face Switzerland in a battle for first place in Group B. Both squads have won their first two games in regulation, giving them six points apiece.
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