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Three B's Competing for their Countries

by John Bishop / Boston Bruins -- Most of the Bruins are already well into their offseason off-ice R&R program, but three members of the organization -- defenseman Zdeno Chara, center David Krejci and goaltending prospect Lars Volden -- are representing their countries in the annual IIHF World Hockey Championship.

Held this summer in Finland & Sweden, the 2012 World Championship features many of hockey's best players in a tournament format. Teams including the United States, Canada, Chara's Slovakia, Krejci's Czech Republic and Volden's Norway compete in a 16 team tournament similar to ice hockey's Olympic competition.

The 16 nations are divided into two groups for the Preliminary Round.

Helsinki, Finland hosts teams from Finland, Canada, USA, Switzerland, Slovakia, Belarus, France and Kazakhstan.

Stockholm, Sweden hosts squads Russia, Sweden, Czech Republic, Germany, Norway, Latvia, Denmark and Italy.

The top-four ranked teams in each of the groups advance to quarterfinal matchups (1 vs. 4, 2 vs. 3) in both cities on May 17, with the victorious countries advancing to a semifinal round.

Helsinki will host the semifinal (May 19), bronze and gold medal games (May 20).

Through Tuesday's games, Chara's squad from Slovakia is 1-2-0 with a 4-2 win over the United States and the B's captain is a plus-1, with two penalty minutes and is averaging 23:07 in ice time over three games.

Krejci's Czech's are 2-1-0 after victories over Denmark and Norway. The B's center has a 1-0-1 line in three contests.

Volden's Norwegians are 0-2-1, but Lars stopped 42 shots in a 4-2 setback to Russia in his only tournament appearance, thus far.

Look for updates from throughout the tournament on and the B's home on Tumblr,

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