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World Championship Update: Panarin still rolling, Schmaltz returns

by Austin Miller / Web Contributor

When Canada's Nathan MacKinnon tallied three assists in the Canadians' 5-0 victory over Norway on Monday in Paris, Artemi Panarin was temporarily displaced atop the scoring leaderboard of the IIHF World Championship. Later that evening in Cologne, Panarin ensured his absence would not be a prolonged one. Panarin matched MacKinnon's assist total in Russia's dominant performance against Latvia, and moved two points clear of MacKinnon at the top of the leaderboard.

After sitting out a pair of contests last week, Nick Schmaltz returned to action for the United States in the Americans' 5-3 win over Latvia on Saturday. Schmaltz assisted on Nick Bjugstad's second period goal which started the rally in the red, white and blue's come from behind victory. Trevor van Riemsdyk finished +2 for the game in 15:32 of ice time.

The Americans followed up their win over Latvia by defeating Slovakia 6-1 on Sunday. Both Schmaltz and van Riemsdyk saw action as the Americans moved to 5-1 in the tournament. Earlier today, Team USA defeated Russia 5-3 to take the top spot in Group A ahead of the knockout round. 

In other news from Group A, Marcus Kruger and Sweden moved to 4-1-1 in the tournament on Sunday, beating Denmark 4-2. Kruger collected an assist on Sweden's first goal. The helper was Kruger's second of the tournament. Kruger played just 4:26 as Sweden closed out the group stage with a 4-2 win against Slovakia. Swededn will open up the knockout round on Thursday against Switzerland.

In Group B action on Sunday, the Czech Republic defeated France 5-2, with Michal Kempny assisting on Michal Repik's third period goal. Kempny registered one shot on goal in 15:56 of ice time during the Czech Republic's 3-1 loss to Switzerland today. The Czechs advanced to the knockout round and play their quarterfinal on Thursday. 

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