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FIN, CZE, RUS and USA Advance to Qualifying Round

by Staff Writer / Florida Panthers
The United States fell to the Czech Republic 4-3 Tuesday at the 2007 IIHF World Championship in Russia. The Americans are now 2-1 in the tournament and will face the loser of Wednesday’s Canada-Slovakia game on Thursday.

With the win over the United States, the Czech team is now a perfect 3-0. Florida Panthers LW Rostislav Olesz is on the Czech Republic team and has a goal and two assists in the country's first three games. The Czech’s are looking to make it to their third consecutive Championship game and will face the winner of Wednesday’s Germany-Norway game on Friday.

Three Panthers players are participating in the World Championship (Olesz-CZE, Ville Peltonen-FIN and Cory Murphy-CAN), as well as Panthers General Manager and Head Coach Jacques Martin. Martin’s Team Canada is 2-0 after winning Monday 4-2 over Norway. Panthers D Cory Murphy assisted on Canada’s fourth goal. He has two assists in two games and now leads the team with a plus-three rating. Canada will take on Slovakia on Wednesday.

Also putting on a strong showing are the 2006 Olympic Silver Medalists, Finland. Even without Panthers Captain Olli Jokinen in the lineup for his home country, the Finns put on two strong performances with a 5-0 win over the Ukraine and a 6-2 win over Denmark before falling to host Russia on Tuesday 5-4.

Part of the reason for the Finns success is Panthers LW Ville Peltonen, who has a goal and four assists in the first three games of the World Championship. Peltonen, who is playing in his 12th World Championship, is providing the veteran leadership for Finland they were hoping for from him. Finland will now face the winner of Wednesday’s Sweden-Switzerland game on Thursday.

For more information on the 2007 IIHF World Championship in Russia, click here.

LW PELTONEN FIN 3 1 4 5 2 +1
LW OLESZ CZE 3 1 2 3 2 +3
D MURPHY CAN 2 0 2 2 2 +3
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