Seven Coyotes players have been competing at the IIHF World Championship in Switzerland over the past two weeks. Six of them are playing for teams that earned berths in the tournament’s single-elimination Playoff Round, which begins Wednesday.
Captain Shane Doan
has helped lead Canada to the Playoff Round by notching a goal and five assists in six games. Besides averaging a point per game in the first two rounds, Doan has been excellent in the plus/minus category with a +6 rating.
Center Matthew Lombardi has scored a goal and added two assists in six games while participating in his second World Championship for Canada. Lombardi has often been paired with Coyotes teammate Scottie Upshall on a line for Head Coach Lindy Ruff.
Upshall has an assist in five games, but was suspended for one game after receiving a match penalty for a hit to the head of Hungary’s Andras Benk.
Coyotes goalie Ilya Bryzgalov has led a strong Russian team to the quarterfinals with four victories in as many games. He has stopped 116 of 124 shots in his first appearance in the World Championship since 2000.
Defenseman Dmitri Kalinin also has contributed to Russia’s success with two goals and two assists, including a game-winning tally against Sweden in overtime. This is Kalinin’s sixth appearance in the World Championship. He entered this tournament with just two goals in his first five appearances.
Forward Mikkel Boedker
scored three goals for Denmark in his first appearance at the World Championship. Boedker scored all of his goals in the Relegation Round to help Denmark, which did not reach the Playoff Round, qualify for the 2010 World Championship in Germany.
Goalie Al Montoya has played one game for the United States. He made 14 saves to earn a victory over France.
All games played in the Playoff Round are win-or-go-home games for the final eight teams – Latvia, Canada, Russia, USA, Czech Republic, Sweden, Finland, Belarus.
Russia, the defending champion, will face Belarus in a quarterfinal game on Wednesday. The other quarterfinal on Wednesday pits Team USA against Finland, which gave Canada its only defeat on Monday.
Canada, which played Russia for the title last year, faces Latvia in a quarterfinal matchup on Thursday. Sweden and the Czech Republic will face off in the final quarterfinal matchup on Thursday.
The winners of each quarterfinal game will move on to the semifinals on Friday. The winners of the semifinals will play for the gold medal on Sunday. The losers of the semifinals will play for the bronze medal on Sunday.