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Hurricanes in Worlds Advance to Quarterfinals

USA & Canada finish atop their respective groups in preliminary round play

by Michael Smith @MSmithCanes /

Preliminary round action in the 2017 IIHF World Championship wrapped up on Tuesday, and all seven Carolina Hurricanes involved in the tournament are moving on to the quarterfinal round, which takes place on Thursday.

Noah Hanifin: United States

Noah Hanifin and Team USA defeated the Russian national team, 5-3, in their final game of the preliminary round to finish atop Group A with a 6-0-0-1 (W-OTW-OTL-L) record. Hanifin finished the seven-game round-robin round with two assists (second among team defensemen in scoring) and a plus-4 rating.

After snagging the first seed in Group A, the Americans will cross over to play the fourth-seeded Finns in Group B.

Video: On The Phone: Noah Hanifin

Jeff Skinner: Canada

Team Canada breezed through preliminary round action without a regulation blemish to their 6-0-1-0 (W-OTW-OTL-L) record. The team scored more than three times the goals they allowed (32 goals for and just 10 goals against), and Jeff Skinner was a key component in their prolific offensive attack. Skinner ranked third on the team in scoring with eight points (3g, 5a) in seven games - that's more than half of the points he had recorded in three previous World Championship appearances combined (15 - 8g, 7a).

Skinner uncharacteristically led all tournament skaters with 27 penalty minutes in the preliminary round. A good chunk of that was due to this sequence of questionable officiating.

Tweet from @MSmithCanes: The two-minute high stick.

Looking for their third consecutive World Championship gold medal, Team Canada will square off with Germany, who edged Latvia 4-3 in dramatic fashion in the final preliminary round game to squeeze into quarterfinal play, in Cologne.

Video: On the Phone: Jeff Skinner

Sebastian Aho: Finland

The Finnish national team struggled a bit in preliminary round play, finishing fourth in Group B with a 2-2-1-2 (W-OTW-OTL-L) record, but Sebastian Aho, fresh off his rookie season, was a gamer. Aho paced his team in scoring with eight points (2g, 6a) in seven tournament games. The 19-year-old forward also tallied one game-winning goal, seen below.

Tweet from @NHLCanes: Watch @SebastianAho score the game-winner today in Team Finland's 5-2 #IIHFWorlds win. #Redvolution

Aho and the Finns will take on Hanifin and Team USA in the quarterfinals.

Elias Lindholm, Victor Rask, Joakim Nordstrom, Eddie Lack: Sweden

Team Sweden posted a 5-0-1-1 (W-OTW-OTL-L) record in preliminary round action, good for third place in a top-heavy Group A.

Both Elias Lindholm and Victor Rask were point-per-game producers and ranked tied for second in team scoring (7). Lindholm and William Nylander paced the Swedes in goal scoring (5), while Rask and Nylander led the team in assists (5). Additionally, Lindholm and Rask were each a plus-4. Joakim Nordstrom recorded two assists and was a plus-2 in six tournament games.

Tweet from @NHLCanes: [WATCH] @lindholmelias puts @swehockeyse up 1-0 with the assist from @VictorRask! #IIHFWorlds

Tweet from @NHLCanes: The #Canes are back at it for @swehockeyse! #IIHFWorlds@VictorRask with the first goal today, assisted by @lindholmelias.

Eddie Lack started one preliminary round game for the Swedes and posted a 19-save shutout against Latvia.

Tweet from @NHLCanes: .@VictorRask @lindholmelias Congrats to all the #Canes with @swehockeyse on their second #IIHFWorlds win today.

Team Sweden draws the Swiss national team, which finished in second place in Group B, in the quarterfinals.

Quarterfinal Round Schedule

Quarterfinal play happens Thursday. NBCSN will carry USA vs. Finland live at 10:15 a.m. NHL Network will carry the balance of quarterfinal games live, with the exception of Switzerland vs. Sweden, which will air on Friday, May 19 at 1 p.m.

Semifinal action will take place on Saturday, May 20, and the tournament will wrap up with medal games on Sunday, May 21. A full quarterfinals schedule can be found below. Click here to see preliminary round results.

2017 IIHF World Championship Quarterfinals
May 18 United States vs. Finland 0-2 NBCSN
May 18 Russia vs. Czech Republic 3-0 NHL Network
May 18 Canada vs. Germany 2-1 NHL Network
May 18 Switzerland vs. Sweden 1-3 NHL Network (tape delay: May 19 at 1 p.m.)

All times listed in Eastern Standard Time.

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