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KAPANEN LEADS FINLAND TO SILVER MEDAL AT 2001 WORLD CHAMPIONSHIPS

by Staff Writer / Carolina Hurricanes
RALEIGH, NC (May 14, 2001) – Sami Kapanen was the top goal scorer at the 2001 World Championships in Germany, notching seven goals in leading Finland to a silver medal in the tournament. Kapanen’s two goals on Saturday carried Finland to a 3-1 victory against David Tanabe and the United States. Finland fell to the Czech Republic 3-2 in overtime on Sunday, and the Americans dropped the bronze medal game 3-2 to Sweden.

Kapanen, 27, completed the tournament fourth in scoring, totaling 11 points (7g, 4a) in eight games. The Hurricanes leading scorer during the playoffs with seven points, Kapanen was named the top forward in the tournament, a First-Team Media All-Star and one of Finland’s Most Valuable Players. Kapanen, who will compete for Finland in the 2002 Winter Olympics in Salt Lake City, has earned a pair of Olympic bronze medals with his home country.

Tanabe, 20, completed the tournament tied for 12th in scoring among defensemen with three points (1g, 2a) in nine games for the United States. The Americans defeated Canada 4-3 in overtime in the quarterfinals before falling to Finland and Sweden in their final two games. A native of White Bear Lake, Minn., Tanabe was (+3) for the tournament.

Carolina Hurricanes Arturs Irbe and Sandis Ozolinsh also participated in the World Championships, competing for Latvia. Latvia, who was eliminated from medal competition after the first round, won the Relegation Round to automatically qualify for next year’s World Championships in Sweden. Irbe completed the tournament tied for first in shutouts (2) and seventh in goals against average (2.17) and save percentage (.924). Ozolinsh completed the tournament tied for fourth in scoring among defensemen with five points (0g, 5a) in six games. He led Latvia in plus-minus for the tournament (+7).

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