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Flyers have 10 players competing at World Championships

Club represented on five countries as tournament kicks off in Germany/France

by PhiladelphiaFlyers.com @NHLFlyers / http://www.philadelphiaflyers.com

With the 2017 International Ice Hockey Federation World Championships set to begin on Friday, a total of 11 Flyers, representing five countries will be in competition for this year's gold.

CANADA

 Canada has the most with five Flyers on their roster (Couturier, Giroux, Konecny, Schenn & Simmonds) - - MORE ON THAT HERE - - while Claude Giroux was recently named captain of the Canadian squad - - MORE ON THAT HERE - - Also for Canada, Ron Hextall is serving as general manager and Dave Hakstol an assistant coach.

FINLAND

Valtteri Filppula will be appearing in his second World Championship for Finland, last seeing action in the 2012 Worlds where he averaged a point per-game with 10 points (4g-6a) in 10 games.

 He joined the Flyers after being acquired on Mar. 1 at the NHL trade deadline and finished with five goals and eight point in the last 20 games.

 Most recently, Filppula represented Finland in the 2016 World Cup of Hockey where he was named an alternate captain and had one goal in six games. He has also represented Finland in the 2010 Winter Olympic games, where he helped the Fins capture the bronze medal, as well as back-to-back World Junior Championships in 2003 and 2004.

FRANCE

Pierre-Edouard Bellemare appeared in seven consecutive World Championships for France from 2008 to 2014, but missed the 2015 tournament due to injury. He rejoined France for the 2016 tournament where he led the team with four points (1g-3a) while appearing in all seven games.

Bellemare also represented France for Team Europe at the World Cup of Hockey where he had four points (2g-2a) in nine games and appeared in all seven tournament round games as Europe lost in the Final to Canada.

He was the recipient of the Gene Hart Memorial Award as the Flyers who demonstrated the most "Heart" during the season as voted on by members of the Fan Club at their monthly meetings. He was also the Flyers nominee for the 2016-17 Bill Masterton Trophy chosen by the Philadelphia chapter of the Professional Hockey Writers Association. 

CZECH REPUBLIC

Jakub Voracek will enter his fifth World Championships and has extensive experience representing the Czech Republic on the world stage. 

He appeared in all six games of the World Cup of Hockey in Sept-Oct of last year recording two points (1g-1a) and led the Czech Republic in the tournament round with 11 shots in three games. 

In his four previous World Championships, he captained the squad in 2015 which also served as the host country for the tournament. He finished with 10 points (3g-7a) in 10 games, both of which where career highs for him in international play.

Voracek has also represented the Czech Republic in the 2014 Olympics as well as the 2008 World Junior Championships which were also held in his home country. 

Also for the Czechs, Radko Gudas will participate in his first World Championships. He has, however, represented the Czech Republic on numerous occasions. He played in the 2010 World Junior Championships and was a member of the Czech Olympic team in 2014. He was also chosen to the Czech Republic's World Cup of Hockey Team this past fall, but did not participate due to injury.

Gudas finished the season with six goals and 23 points, both of which were new career highs, in 67 games and for his efforts was the recipient of the Pelle Lindbergh Memorial Award this past season, which is the most improved Flyer voted on by the players themselves. He also led the team with 280 hits in 67 games, which finished fourth in the NHL, while his average of 4.2 hots per-game finished second in the league.

 

RUSSIA

For Russia, Ivan Provorov will enter his first World Championships, but not the first time he has represented his native country. He was a member of the silver medal winning squads at the IIHF World Junior Championships in 2015 and 2016.

Provorov is coming off his rookie campaign where he was awarded the Barry Ashbee Trophy as the team's Most Outstanding Defenseman. He posted 30 points (6g-24), which finished second among Flyers defensemen, and was the only defenseman on the club to appear in all 82 games.

Provorov also led the team in time-on-ice, averaging nearly 22 minutes per-game (21:58) and ranked second among all rookie defensemen in that category.

Four of the five team's that have Flyers on them will be in action on Day 1, highlighted with a showdown between Canada and the Czech Republic at 2 p.m. ET which can be seen on the NHL Network

 

TOURNAMENT FORMAT

A total of 16 teams are divided into two, eight-team groups in the Preliminary Round.

GROUP A: Russia, United States, Sweden, Slovakia, Germany, Latvia, Denmark & Italy 

GROUP B: Canada, Finland, Czech Republic, Switzerland, Belarus, Norway, France & Slovenia

For the games themselves, three points are awarded for the winning team at the end of regulation, while one point is awarded to both teams at the end of regulation time if the game is tied. Teams can then earn an additional point for a win in a 5-minute overtime period, or the Penalty-Shot Shootout, giving them two points.

After the preliminary round is complete, the top-four ranked teams of each group advance to the quarterfinals that will be played cross-over. The first-place team in each preliminary-round group plays the fourth-place team of the other group, while the second-place team plays the third-place team of the other group. The winning teams advance to the semifinals.

The winning teams of the semifinal games advance to the gold medal game while the semi-final losing teams play for bronze.

After a single round-robin series in each group, the top four teams from each group advance to the Playoff Round.

The winner of each Semi-Final game will move onto the Gold Medal Game, while the losers will play in the Bronze Medal Game, all of which are to be played in Cologne, Germany.

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