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World Championship Update: May 14

by Aaron Lopez / Colorado Avalanche
Six Avalanche players hit the ice Friday in Qualification Round action at the 2010 IIHF Men’s World Championship in Germany.

Slovakia Blanked By Denmark
Denmark, perhaps the biggest surprise team of the tournament, pulled out a convincing 6-0 victory over Peter Budaj, Marek Svatos and Team Slovakia on Friday.

Budaj started in Slovakia’s goal for the fourth consecutive game, but was pulled at the 4:40 mark of the opening frame after allowing a goal on each of the first three shots he faced. Backup netminder Rastislav Stana came on in relief and stopped 28-of-31 shots, but Slovakia couldn’t get any offense going.

Svatos recorded four shots on goal in 15:01 of ice time.

Next Up For Slovakia: Team Slovakia’s second of three Qualification Round games will come Tuesday when the club faces Finland.

Canada Thumps Norway
Canada and Norway were all even at 1-1 after 20 minutes of play, but Canada exploded for seven goals in the middle frame en route to a 12-1 victory.

Matt Duchene scored Canada’s 12th and final goal – his second tally of the tournament – and also added an assist in 14:02 of ice time. Duchene has now totaled five points (2g/3a) and a team-best +5 plus/minus rating in four games at the event.

Kyle Cumiskey did not record a point in 16:16 of ice time during the rout.

Avalanche defense prospect Jonas Holos notched Norway’s lone goal, scoring 1:35 into the contest to give his club a 1-0 advantage. He also logged a game-high 23:18 of ice time and had two shots on net.

Next Up For Canada: Cumiskey, Duchene and Team Canada will return to action on Sunday when they face Sweden.

Next Up For Norway: Norway will take on Latvia on Sunday in the squad’s second Qualification Round contest.

Belarus Loses To Finland
Finland scored twice in the second period and that would be all the offense the team needed, as goaltender Pekka Rinne stopped all 18 shots he faced to give the Finns a 2-0 lead over Ruslan Salei and Belarus.

Salei was on the ice for a game-high 25:59 and was voted Belarus’ Best Player of the Game.

Next Up For Belarus: Salei and Belarus will look to get back on the winning track Sunday during a contest against Germany.

What’s On Tap
Only one Avalanche player will be in action Saturday, as T.J. Galiardi and the United States - a club that also features Avalanche head coach Joe Sacco as an assistant coach – will face off against Kazakstan.

USA/Kazakhstan: To say the tournament has been disappointing for the Americans would be an understatement. Team USA earned only two points in the Preliminary Round courtesy of two overtime losses, and is now forced to play in the Relegation Round to retain its status in the tournament’s top division. Kazakhstan also lost all three of its Preliminary Round contests, but those games were far more one-sided. Team Kazakhstan was outscored by a combined 14-4 count in losses to Belarus, Russia and Slovakia.

Tournament Info
The final standings from the Preliminary Round are available here.

Updated standings from the Qualification Round, including the new groupings, are available here.

Click here for the individual scoring leaders from the 2010 IIHF Men’s World Championship.
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