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Frolik, Kruger advance to IIHF quarterfinals

by Brad Boron / Chicago Blackhawks
Marcus Kruger and Team Sweden have advanced to the quarterfinals of the IIHF World Championship.

Although most of the Blackhawks have hung up their skates for the season, three forwards – Marian Hossa (Slovakia), Michael Frolik (Czech Republic) and Marcus Kruger (Sweden) – accepted invitations from their respective countries to play in the 2011 International Ice Hockey Federation World Championship tournament, which is being held this month in Slovakia.

The tournament completed its 12-team qualification round on Monday, and the remaining eight teams in the tournament will compete in a single-elimination bracket, the winner of which will be named 2011 IIHF World Champion.

As the tournament continues, will track the play of the Blackhawks as they compete for gold on the world stage.

Michael Frolik

With the first two rounds of play in the books, the Blackhawks’ Michael Frolik (Czech Republic) and Marcus Kruger (Sweden) have advanced to the IIHF quarterfinals along with their countrymen , while Marian Hossa and the host Slovakian team was eliminated from the tournament after dropping two of three qualification round decisions.

Hossa was kept off the scoresheet during Slovakia’s defeats against the Czech Republic and Finland on Friday and Saturday, but responded on Monday, scoring his first and only goal of the tournament as the Slovaks beat Denmark, 4-1. He was named Slovakia’s best player of the game.

Slovakia failed to reach the tournament quarterfinals, ending their run in the World Championship. Hossa finishes the tournament with two points (G, A), as well as two penalty minutes and a -1 plus/minus rating in five games.

Michael Frolik and the reigning-champion Czech Republic continued their outstanding performance in the second round, sweeping their three matchups against Slovakia Friday, Russia Sunday and Germany on Monday. Frolik tallied a goal during Monday’s 5-2 victory over Germany, giving him four points (3G, A) through six games of the tournament. The Czechs face the United States in the tournament quarterfinals Wednesday.

Marcus Kruger and the Swedish team advanced to face Germany in the quarterfinals behind two shutout efforts against France and Switzerland, before dropping the last game of the round to Canada 3-2 on Monday. Kruger recorded an assist in the defeat, which gave him two points through six games.  

For a complete IIHF World Championship schedule, plus rosters for all competing countries in the tournament,
click here.

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