After Cam Fowler
and Team USA succumbed to the Czech Republic in the Quarterfinals of the 2011 International Ice Hockey Federation (IIHF) World Men's Championship 4-0 this morning, all three Ducks players participating in the international tournament were eliminated.
and Team Switzerland and Lubomir Visnovsky
's Team Slovakia failed to advance past the Preliminary round. Despite the early exits, the Ducks defensemen represented their countries and their NHL club well at this year's event and can now officially begin a much deserved offseason from hockey.
Fowler, who had previously won IIHF gold medals with Team USA playing for the Under-18 and Under-20 squads, scored a power play goal and netted two assists in seven games for Team USA, which finished with a 3-4 record. The 19-year-old defenseman was also third on the team in total ice time and fourth in total shifts.
Sbisa, playing with Team Switzerland once again after being a part of their 2010 Winter Olympics squad, played in six games in the tournament, getting an assist on the offensive end. He also finished third among Swiss defensemen in minutes per game, proving his value as the lone player on the Swiss squad who spent the past year in the NHL.
Visnovsky played in the tournament despite finishing the end of Anaheim's season playing through shoulder injuries that had the NHL's leading defenseman scorer playing at what he called "50 percent." But the lure of playing for Team Slovakia, which is hosting the 2011 tournament primarily in the capital city of Bratislava, and a brief respite from hockey after the Ducks were eliminated from the NHL playoffs, gave Visnovsky the strength to overcome his injuries and suit up for his nation. Playing in just three games for Slovakia, which won two of their six games before being eliminated, Visnovsky had two assists and a +1 rating, and led his team in minutes played per game at an incredible 23:15.
The 2011 IIHF World Men's Championship concludes with semifinal games on Friday, May 13, and the Gold Medal Game taking place on Sunday, May 15. The teams remaining in contention are: the Czech Republic, Sweden, Germany, Russia, Canada, Finland, and Norway.