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IIHF World Championship update: May 9

by Emerald Gao and Leah Hendrickson / Chicago Blackhawks
Viktor Stalberg (right) and Marcus Kruger (center) both tallied for Team Sweden in their 5-2 win over Germany today at the IIHF World Championship. (Getty Images)

The IIHF World Championship continued today with five Blackhawks putting in victorious efforts for their countries. Team Canada edged past Switzerland 3-2 in Helsinki, and host Sweden cruised by Germany in Stockholm. Marcus Kruger tallied, Niklas Hjalmarsson contributed an assist, and Viktor Stalberg scored and was named Best Player in a 5-2 victory for the Swedes.

Coming off a four-assist, five-point outing against France on Monday, Patrick Sharp registered three shots on goal in 18:50 of ice time. Blackhawks defenseman Duncan Keith led Team Canada, logging 26:03. Keith currently leads all Canadian skaters with 90:41 total minutes played in four games, over seven minutes more than the next teammate.

Damien Brunner scored just under two minutes into the game for the Swiss, which stood as the only tally of the first period. Switzerland killed two dangerous Canadian power plays, stifling opportunities and keeping Canada off the scoreboard in the opening frame.

It took Islanders forward John Tavares just 0:35 to score the equalizer for Canada in the second period. Yet again, the Canadians had two power play opportunities in the period, but were kept off the scoresheet each time, finishing 0-for-4 on the night. In four preliminary-round games, the Canadians have converted only two of 12 opportunities with the man advantage.

Oilers winger Jordan Eberle scored a go-ahead goal just under a minute into the third period, but the Swiss answered two minutes later, scoring their second power-play tally to tie the game 2-2. Team captain Ryan Getzlaf then buried the game-winner off a dish from goaltender Cam Ward with two minutes left in regulation.

Kruger pounced on an early opportunity in Sweden's game against Germany, scoring just 1:17 into the game off an assist by Avalanche rookie Gabriel Landeskog. Germany knotted the game halfway through the first period.

Another instance of Blackhawks chemistry led to a Team Sweden tally early in the second period, when Hjalmarsson stickhandled past a defender in the offensive zone before finding Stalberg open for a quick shot past the German goaltender. A power-play goal by Senators defenseman Erik Karlsson made it 3-1 to the Swedes, but Germany close the gap just before the end of the middle frame.

Two more goals in the third period, by Niklas Persson and Red Wings forward Johan Franzen, sealed the easy 5-2 victory for Sweden, who outshot Germany 45-17 and retains an unblemished record in the preliminary round of the tournament. Stalberg finished the game with six shots on goal in 16:25 of ice time, Kruger took four shots and won 10 of 16 faceoffs in 15:41, and Hjalmarsson skated 18:49.

Canada will square off against host Finland on Friday, May 11, while Sweden faces a tough test in Team Russia later that afternoon.
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