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World Championship: Hedman, Stralman pick up assists in Sweden victory

Lightning defensemen were key in Saturday's rout of Germany on Day 2 of the tournament

by Bryan Burns /

The Tampa Bay Lightning are heavily represented at the 2017 IIHF Ice Hockey World Championship in Paris, France and Cologne, Germany.

Seven Lightning players along with Bolts head coach Jon Cooper are participating in the 17-day tournament. Cooper is the head coach of Team Canada, which features Lightning rookie center Brayden Point and forward Alex Killorn.

Team Russia features the most Bolts skaters on its roster with goaltender Andrei Vasilevskiy and forwards Nikita Kucherov and Vladislav Namestnikov. Team Sweden is led on the back end by Tampa Bay defensemen Victor Hedman, a finalist for the Norris Trophy, and Anton Stralman.

The tournament consists of 16 teams broken into two groups.

Group A: Germany, Russia, Sweden, United States, Slovakia, Latvia, Denmark and Italy.

Group B: Canada, Finland, Belarus, Czech Republic, Switzerland, Norway, France and Slovenia.

The top four ranked teams from each group following the preliminary round advance to the single-elimination quarterfinal.

Preliminary play began Friday, May 5 and continues through May 16.

Sweden 7, Germany 2

Sweden rebounded from an opening-day shootout loss to Russia with a resounding 7-2 victory over host Germany in the second day of preliminary play at the World Championship on Saturday.

Lightning defenseman Anton Stralman provided two assists for Sweden, which outscored Germany 6-1 over the final 40 minutes.

Fellow Bolts blueliner Victor Hedman picked up an assist in the win and ranked second on Sweden for time on ice (24:50).

Hedman and Stralman each have two assists through two tournament games.

Sweden currently leads Group A with four points after a shootout loss Friday.

Germany now has one win and one loss in the tourney after pulling the upset over the United States on Friday.
Sweden returns to action on Monday against the United States.

Norway 3, France 2

Patrick Thoresen scored a pair of goals to lead Norway to a 3-2 victory over host France in the tournament opener for both teams.

Latvia 3, Demark 0

In Cologne, Elvis Merzlikins stopped all 27 shots he faced to backstop Latvia to a 3-0 victory in its World Championship opener against Denmark.

Switzerland 5, Slovenia 4

Switzerland jumped out to a 4-0 first period lead but wasn't able to put away Slovenia in Paris until Damien Brunner's game-winning shootout conversion. The Swiss get two points for the 5-4 shootout win while Slovenia comes away with a point in the tournament opener for both teams.

Slovakia 3, Italy 2

Slovakia's Libor Hudacek netted the game-tying goal against Italy with 1:04 remaining, and Peter Ceresnak won it for Slovakia with his overtime winner in the first game of the tournament for both teams.

Czech Republic 6, Belarus 1

In Paris, the Czech Republic scored three goals in the third period to turn a close 3-1 game into a runaway 6-1 victory over Belarus. The Czech Republic gets its first tournament victory after falling to Canada on Friday. Belarus has lost twice to start the tourney.

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