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World Championships: Gus takes the gold!

by Staff Writer / Philadelphia Flyers

A running update throughout the World Championships

5:05 p.m.

Flyers defenseman Erik Gustafsson helped lead Team Sweden to the Gold Medal in the IIHF World Championships on Sunday with a 5-1 win over the Swiss.

Gustafsson got the Swedes on the board first with his first goal of the tournament, which tied the score back up at 1-1.

As was the case most of the tournament, Gustafsson was one of Sweden's top players in time-on-ice, recording a team-high 44 shifts and third with 22:24 minutes in the gold medal contest.

The Swiss entered the game undefeated, posting a perfect 9-0-0 record. This was also the first appearance in the gold medal game in the country's history.

This is Sweden's first gold medal in seven years, last winning in 2006 over the Czech Republic. It is also the country's ninth gold medal since the tournament was on the world stage in 1920.

Gustafsson finished the tournament appearing in all 10 games for Sweden, posting two goals (1g-1a) and an average of nearly 24 minutes per-game (23:59), while also tying for the team lead in plus-minus at +7.

3:10 p.m.

Erik Gustafsson and Team Sweden are off to the World Championship Gold Medal game.

The Swedes defeated the Finnish team by a 3-0 score in the semi-finals early on Saturday to advance to Sunday's Final against the Swiss Team, who are a perfect 9-0-0 in the tournament after their 3-0 victory over the United States.

Gustafsson, not only led his team, but led all players in the game in time-on-ice with over 24 minutes (24:17) during the victory. This is Gustafsson's first time representing Sweden in the IIHF World Ice Hockey Championships.

The Gold Medal game is set for 2:30 p.m. ET on Sunday, while the Bronze will be decided by USA vs. Finland just prior to the finale.

4:51 p.m.

It took overtime, then a shootout and even extra shooters, but Sweden defeated Canada, 3-2 in a shootout to advance to the semifinal where they will face Finland.

Canada got on the board first, while Sweden recorded two straight goals to take a 2-1 lead in the third period.

Just minutes after the Swedes scored the go-ahead goal in the third on a power-play off a Giroux cross-checking penalty. He turned around and tied the game back up at 2-2 with his third goal of the tournament and eighth point.

Watch Giroux's game-tying goal...

The teams played the rest of the way knotted up through the 10-minute, 4-on-4 overtime period with the shootout determining which team the right to play for a medal.

Canada went with Giroux, Eberle and Duchene in the shootout, while Sweden went with Loui Eriksson, then Henrik and Daniel Sedin. Eriksson scored for the Swedes and Eberle scored for Canada to send it to the extra shooters.

Petterson scored in the extra round and going in for a second time, Eberle hit the post to give Sweden the victory.

Only one active Flyers player remains in the tournament, Erik Gustafsson. The semifinal schedule is below...

SWE vs FIN - 9:00 a.m. ET on TSN

1:53 p.m.
* With their victories today, Team USA will face off against Team Switzerland in the Semifinals. Including tournament play, Team USA is 6-2-0, while the Swiss are a perfect 8-0-0.

USA 8 -- RUS 3
Update: The United States defeated Russia, 8-3 early this morning. Craig Smith posted five assists, one short of the IIHF Tournament record, while Paul Stastny recorded two goals and two assists in the victory.

SUI 2 -- CZE 1
Update: The Swiss team reached its first ever Semifinal in the IIHF World Championships by defeating the Czech Republic, 2-1. Flyers forward Jakub Voracek posted an assist on the Czechs only goal of the game. He ends the tournament with seven points (1g-6a).

The Swiss team is a perfect 7-0-0 in the tournament this season. Jakub Voracek is in the lineup for the Czech Republic. He led the Czechs in scoring through the preliminary round with six points (1g-5a).

FIN 4 -- SVK 3
Update: The Finnish team nearly let go a 3-0 lead after posting all three goals in the first period, only to have the game tied by by three straight from Slovakia with the last goal coming early in the third.

Juhamatti Aaltonen posted the go-ahead goal eight minutes into the third period and Finland held onto the lead to advance to the Semifinal to either play Canada or Sweden.

Of note, former Flyers defensemen Lasse Kukkonen and Ossi Vaananen played for Team Finland with Vaananen scoring the first Finnish goal, while forward Branko Radivojevich suited up for Slovakia, recording an assist in the loss.

SWE 3 -- CAN 2 (SO)
* Recap above...

SWE vs FIN - 9:00 a.m. ET on TSN

Final & Bronze Medal Game

CAN - Claude Giroux (7gp: 2g-5a--7pts, +3, 18:11 TOI/G)
CZE - Jakub Voracek (7gp: 1g-5a--6pts, -4, 17:36 TOI/G)
CAN - Matt Read (7gp: 1g-2a--3pts, EVEN, 14:57 TOI/G)
CAN - Luke Schenn (6gp: 1g-1a--2pts, +4, 17:19 TOI/G)
CAN - Wayne Simmonds (7gp: 1g-0a--1pt, EVEN, 14:24 TOI/G)
SWE - Erik Gustafsson (7gp: 0g-1a--1pt, +4, 22:49 TOI/G)
DEN - Oliver Lauridsen (7gp: 0pts, EVEN, 18:58 TOI/G)
GER - Marcel Noebels (3gp: 0pts, EVEN, 8:05 TOI/G)
RUS - Ilya Bryzgalov (3gp: 3-0-0, 1.33 GAA, .934 sv pct, 1 shutout)
USA - Cal Heeter (DNP)

Now that each team has had a full week of play in the World Championships, here's how the Flyers representatives and their countries are stacking up.

Defenseman Luke Schenn posted his first goal of the tournament to help Team Canada to a 3-0 shutout win over Sweden on Thursday. Schenn has a goal and an assist to go along with a +4 rating through five games in the tournament while averaging nearly 20 minutes per-game.

Watch Schenn's goal below...

Matt Read posted two assists in Thursday win, and overall has a goal and two helpers in his first five games of international play for Canada, while teammate Wayne Simmonds has gone scoreless thus far.

Teammates on this side of the pond, Claude Giroux and Jakub Voracek, are going head to head for the most points by a Flyer in the tournament.

Giroux has two goals and four assists for six points in five games to help Canada to a 4-0-1 record, including a three-point effort in the team's 4-1 win over Belarus on Friday. Giroux currently ranks second on the team in scoring for the tournament, trailing only his line mate, Steven Stamkos who has nine points (4g-5a) in five games.

Here's Giroux's three-point game…

Voracek has helped the Czech Republic to a 3-2-0 record by posting a point-per-game with a goal and four assists for five points. Here's Voracek laying a hit on Flyers teammate Oliver Lauridsen.

Giroux and Voracek will go head-to-head as the Canadians face off against Czech Republic on Sunday in Stockholm.

Erik Gustafsson has one assist through six games in the tournament, but has recorded a +4 rating while appearing in over 22 minutes of ice-time per-game. Sweden also owns a 4-2-0 mark.

Oliver Lauridsen is seeing plenty of ice time for Denmark. He averages over 20 minutes per-game, but has gone scoreless in the tournament.

Flyers net minder Ilya Bryzgalov has posted a 2-0 record with a 1.50 goals-against average and .919 save percentage with wins over Latvia and the United States to help Russia post a 4-1-0 record so far.

Russia is in action on Sunday when they face off against Slovakia.

Cal Heeter has not seen action in the tournament yet. With their 4-2 victory today over France, Team USA owns a 4-1 record.

The tournament will conclude its preliminary round on Tuesday, May 14 and officially begin the medal round two days later. The gold medal game is currently scheduled for Sunday, May 19 in Sweden.


Through the first weekend of play, here's a brief update on the Flyers and how they're doing in the World Championships being played abroad in Sweden and Finland.

Jakub Voracek has points in both of his games with the Czech Republic going 1-1-0 over the weekend. He posted the game-winning goal as CZE defeated Belarus, 2-0. Voracek posted an assist on the power play, but the team fell by a 2-1 score over Erik Gustafsson and Team Sweden on Saturday.

Gustafsson has one assist as the Swedish team also split their games, going 1-1-0.

The Flyers have four players on Team Canada, who also split their games this weekend. Claude Giroux recorded a point in the first game, posting an assist in Canada's 3-1 win on Saturday over Denmark.

The Canadian team dropped a 3-2 contest to the Swiss on Sunday, but Matt Read potted his first goal of the tournament, while defenseman Luke Schenn recorded an assist.

Ben Bishop has started both games for Team USA, with Cal Heeter not seeing tournament action as of yet.

Ilya Bryzgalov started for Team Russian in their first game, stopping all 15 shots he faced to post a 6-0 shut out win over Latvia.

Ten Flyers in IIHF World Hockey Championships

The IIHF Ice Hockey World Championships are set to kick off in Sweden and Finland on Friday, May 3 with 16 teams competing for the title. Of the 16 teams, 10 players from the Flyers organization will be competing in the annual tournament from seven different countries.

The Flyers have four players on the roster for Team Canada: defenseman Luke Schenn and forwards Claude Giroux, Matt Read and Wayne Simmonds. Giroux, Read and Simmonds will be making their first World Hockey Championship appearance, with only Schenn having tournament experience.

"It's a good experience," said Giroux. "To put that Canadian flag on your jersey, it's going to be nice. Anytime you get to play for your country it's a pretty big honor."

Giroux, who led the Flyers in scoring for the third consecutive year, does have international experience during his junior days, competing in the 2008 World Junior Championship, posting six points (2g-4a) in seven games, including a goal in the gold medal game, helping Canada capture its fourth straight title.

Teammates Luke Schenn and Wayne Simmonds were also that 2008 squad, as well as goaltender Steve Mason, who was named the Tournament MVP by posting a 5-0-0 record with a 1.19 goals-against average and .951 save percentage to go along with two shutouts.

Matt Read is playing for Team Canada for the first time in his career.

Each of the remaining players are scattered over six other teams, most notably the Flyers leading goal scorer, Jakub Voracek representing the Czech Republic, and goaltender Ilya Bryzgalov representing Team Russia.

Voracek led the Flyers in goals this season, tallying 22 times for a new NHL career high. He also has plenty of international experience, playing two years on the World Junior stage in both the 2007 and 2008 Championships. This is also Voracek's third time in the World Championships, competing for Czech Republic in 2010 and 2011.

Bryzgalov easily has the most international experience of the group. He has competed in the Olympic Games for Russia on three occasions (2002, 2006, 2010), winning a bronze medal in 2002.

He has also earned a silver medal in his only World Junior Championship appearance in 2000.

This year's tournament will be his third World Championships (2000 & 2009) and first since he earned a gold medal in 2009 when the event was held in Switzerland.

Erik Gustafsson will play for Team Sweden for the first time in his career, while the three remaining Flyers all spent most, if not all, of their time with the team's AHL affiliate, the Adirondack Phantoms this past season: (D) Oliver Lauridsen (Denmark), (G) Cal Heeter (United States) and (F) Marcel Noebels (Germany).

A full schedule of games Flyers will be participating over the weekend is above. The elimination rounds of the tournament get underway on Thurs., May 16 with the gold medal game slated for 2:30 p.m. on Sunday, May 19 in Stockholm, Sweden.
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