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Oilers set to compete in Worlds quarterfinals

by Chris Wescott / Edmonton Oilers

The preliminary round at the 2016 IIHF World Championship has come to a close, and only eight teams remain to battle for gold and bragging rights. Canada, Czech Republic, Denmark, Finland, Germany, Russia, Sweden and the United States have advanced to the quarterfinal round, which takes place Thursday.

Canada cruised through the preliminary round, until running into a stout Team Finland in their final game. The Finns crushed Canada 4-0, to finish undefeated atop Group B with a 7-0-0 record and 29 goals for to only six against. Finland will play Denmark Thursday at 7:15 am MT.

Photo by IIHF Images

Canada finished the preliminary round 6-1-0 with a tournament-leading 34 goals for. They allowed just eight goals against, four of which came in the loss to Finland.

Oilers winger Taylor Hall is second in the tournament in goal scoring, behind Sweden's Gustav Nyquist, with six in seven games. Hall is ninth in scoring overall, second on Team Canada, with eight points (6-2-8).

Oilers centre Connor McDavid is tied for second in the tournament in assists with seven.

Edmonton netminder Cam Talbot suffered his first loss of the tournament against Finland, but he still maintains a 1.40 GAA and .926 save percentage. He's stopped 87 of 94 shots so far.

Canada will play Sweden at 11:15 am MT. The Swedes were third in Group A, winning three in regulation and two in overtime. They scored 23, while allowing 18.

Outside of Team Canada, the Oilers have three more skaters participating in the quarterfinals.

Photo by IIHF Images

Leon Draisaitl and the Germans advanced to the final eight for the first time since 2011. Draisaitl has four points (1-3-4) in seven games. Draisaitl and his countrymen will attempt to advance against the host nation, Russia, at 11:15 am MT.

It has been a rocky road for the Americans, but they managed to sneak into the quarterfinal round by stealing a point from Slovakia in a 3-2 overtime loss. Team USA finished the preliminary round with a 3-3-1 record, 22 goals for and 18 against.

The Americans are captained by Oilers winger Matt Hendricks , who has one assist in seven games. Edmonton forward Patrick Maroon has been more active on the statsheet with one goal and two assists to go along with 12 penalty minutes.

USA looks to medal again after a bronze finish in 2015. To do so, they will have to beat Czech Republic, which has enjoyed a 6-0-1 start to the tournament with five regulation wins and one in overtime. Their only loss came in a shootout against Latvia. The Czechs finished first in Group A.

We will have full coverage of the playoff portion of the tournament on, with game-by-game breakdowns of how each Oilers player and their team fared.

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