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Bolts Held Off Scoresheet Today, Yet Their Teams Advance

by Brian Breseman / Tampa Bay Lightning

The Tampa Bay Lightning had a fairly uneventful day at the IIHF World Championships taking place today in Germany.  Team Slovakia, with two players of Lightning property, won handily against Kazakhstan, 5-1, while Team Sweden, also with two Tampa Bay players, fell to the Czech Republic, 2-1.  Lightning draft pick Kirill Gotovets made his debut in Belarus’ 3-1 loss to Russia.  All three teams will still advance to the qualification round.

The Slovakians got goals from five separate players, including two from Ivan Ciernik, to earn second place in Group A at 2-1-0.  The Lightning’s Vladimir Mihalik ranked fourth on the team in ice time with 19:41 and also recorded three shots on goal with a plus-1 rating.  Fellow Tampa Bay prospect Richard Panik also had a plus-1 rating while logging 12:27 in ice time. 

Victor Hedman continues to be a mainstay on the Swedish blue line during the tournament, again ranking second on the team in ice time being only former NHLer and team captain Magnus Johansson, logging 21:02 with four shots on goal and an even rating in Sweden’s loss to the Czechs.  Lightning signee Johan Harju was held off the score sheet and logged 14:31 of ice time in the contest. 

Gotovets, 18, logged 12:47 in his World Championship debut today against the Russians.  He also had a shot on goal and two penalty minutes after recently being added to Belarusian roster. 

Friday the qualification round of the tournament gets under way.  Slovakia will take on the upstart team from Denmark, Canada will take on Norway, Finland will battle Belarus, while Sweden will take on Latvia. 

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