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Erat leads Czechs into qualifying round

by Staff Writer / Nashville Predators

Predators forward Martin Erat scored a power-play goal 2:28 into Tuesday's 3-3 tie between the Czech Republic and Finland and now leads the Czechs in scoring as they move on to the Qualifying Round of the International Ice Hockey Federation's World Championship in Riga, Latvia. Only two players in the 16-team tournament have more points than Erat, who has posted two goals and three assists for a total of five points through three games. Canadians Sidney Crosby and Patrice Bergeron are currently tied for the scoring lead with seven points each.

Predators prospects Jukka Hentunen and Mikko Lehtonen each posted an assist for Finland, who clinched the top spot in Group A with Tuesday's tie. The Czechs finished second in the group, followed by Latvia then Slovenia. The top three teams in each of the tournament's four four-team groups advance, while the fourth team moves to the relegation round.

Team Canada, which features Predators Dan Hamhuis, Scott Hartnell and Chris Mason, won Group D Tuesday with a 2-1 win over Team USA. The U.S. club, which includes Nashville players Adam Hall and Ryan Suter, finished the preliminary round second in its group, followed by Norway, which edged out Denmark for the third spot with a 6-3 win Tuesday. 

Prospect Denis Kulyash notched the game-winning goal for Russia in Monday's Group C action to lift his team over Belarus 3-2. Russia, which has already secured a spot in the Qualifying Round, will finish preliminary play Wednesday against Slovakia. For a complete schedule and more, visit the IIHF tournament site.

Here are the statistics for Predators players and a prospects through games on Tuesday, May 9:

Canada
POS NAME GP G A PTS PIM +/-
D Dan Hamhuis 3 0 2 2 4 3
F Scott Hartnell 3 0 0 0 4 0
 
Czech Republic
POS NAME GP G A PTS PIM +/-
F Martin Erat 3 2 3 5 0 1
F Petr Hubacek 3 0 0 0 0 -1
 
Finland
POS NAME GP G A PTS PIM +/-
F Jukka Hentunen 3 0 2 2 4 0
D Mikko Lehtonen 3 1 3 4 6 1
 
Latvia
POS NAME GP G A PTS PIM +/-
F Lauris Darzins 3 0 0 0 2 -1
 
Slovakia
POS NAME GP G A PTS PIM +/-
D Richard Stehlik 2 0 0 0 2 3
 
Russia
POS NAME GP G A PTS PIM +/-
F Denis Arkhipov 2 1 1 2 4 2
D Denis Kulyash 2 1 0 1 2 1
 
United States
POS NAME GP G A PTS PIM +/-
F Adam Hall 3 0 0 0 0 1
D Ryan Suter 3 0 1 1 6 2

 

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