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Krug Advances to Semifinal Round at IIHF Worlds, Eriksson's Tournament Comes to an End

by Caryn Switaj / Boston Bruins

BostonBruins.com - Torey Krug and Loui Eriksson competed in the quarterfinal round of the 2015 International Ice Hockey Federation World Championship on Thursday.

Krug and the United States will continue on to the semifinal round after defeating Switzerland 3-1, while Eriksson and Sweden's tournament came to an end with a 5-3 loss to Russia.

Both games took place in Ostrava, Czech Republic at CEZ Arena.

Team USA will next face Russia on Saturday (May 16), shifting to Prague for semifinal action. Game time is set for 1:15 p.m. ET (streamed live online via NBC Sports Live Extra).

Krug logged 22:11 in the U.S. win, hopping on the ice for 30 shifts. Through eight games, the defenseman has five points off two power play goals and three assists, with a plus-4 rating. He has been paired with Carolina Hurricanes blueliner Justin Faulk, seeing ample minutes against the opponents' top lines, along with power play and penalty killing duties.

It marks Krug's first time wearing the red, white and blue.

"It's very special to me," he said via phone from Ostrava earlier in the tournament. "This is the first time I've ever been able to wear these colors and I take a lot of pride."

"A lot of friends and family back home are proud of me and the situation that I've been blessed with and it's just been a great experience, and I'm looking forward to making sure it ends the right way."

If Krug and his teammates defeat Russia on Saturday, they will face either Canada or the Czech Republic in the gold medal game on Sunday at 2:45 p.m. ET (live on NBCSN and via NBC Sports Live Extra). The bronze medal game will take place at 9:15 a.m. ET (NBC Sports Live Extra).

No matter what, Krug will be playing for a medal.

"You take a lot of pride in putting on the jersey of USA and I think it's just important that we go out there with the right attitude every single night and make sure we don't get too far ahead of ourselves," said Krug. "I think the best part of the whole experience has been the group of guys."

Eriksson competed in his fifth World Championship with Sweden, finishing the tournament with four goals and six assists for 10 points through eight games, along with a plus-5 rating. He averaged about 20 minutes a game.

The winger scored a hat trick early in the tournament, and then scored an important goal in Sweden's semifinal to tie the game at 3-3 and erase a 3-0 deficit with about five minutes left. But Evgeni Malkin put Russia on top, 4-3, less than a minute later for the eventual 5-3 win.

As usual, Eriksson logged defensive-like minutes for Sweden, taking 40 shifts during the game and leading all forwards with 24:44 in ice time.

David Pastrnak has also been in the Czech Republic during the tournament. His hometown of Havirov is just outside of Ostrava.

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