GEARING UP: Jacob Josefson and Sweden ready to battle Russia at the worlds. (Photo: Getty Images)
All three of the Devils' participants at the IIHF World Championship are headed to the quarterfinal round.
Jacob Josefson (Sweden), Artur Gavrus (Belarus) and Tuomo Ruutu (Finland) will all have their sights set on advancing when the next round of the tournament opens Thursday in the Czech Republic.
The matchups, which were set with the conclusion of the preliminary round on Tuesday, include a pair of rematches from last year’s semifinals: Finland versus the host Czech Republic, and Sweden taking on Russia. Belarus faces undefeated Canada.
Finland (4-2-0-1, 16 pts.) finished second in Group B, one point behind the group winners, the United States, who play Switzerland. Sweden (4-2-0-1, 16 pts.) was second in a Group A dominated by the Canadians (7-0-0-0, 21 pts.). Belarus (4-0-2-1, 14 pts.) was fourth in Group B.
Gavrus, the Devils' sixth-round selection from 2012, is fourth on Belarus with five points (2g-3a) in the seven-game opening round. Josefson has four points (2g-2a) for Sweden and Ruutu has an assist for the Finns.