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Erat Makes Instant Impact At Worlds

by Jay Levin / Nashville Predators

Martin Erat scored a goal and an assist in his 2012 World Championships debut, leading Czech Republic to a 6-0 win over Italy on Friday. Erat was added to the Czech roster on Wednesday and flew right out to Stockholm, Sweden for the remainder of this year's World Championship tournament.

With today's win, the Czechs improved to 4-1-0 (11pts) during this year's tournament, solidly in the top four of the Stockholm Group with two games remaining. The top four teams in both groups move to the Quarterfinals. Czech Republic closes Group Play with match-ups against Russia (Sunday) and Germany (Thursday).

In other Preds-related action at the Worlds today: 
- Craig Smith made his tournament debut with 15:03 of ice time in Team USA's 3-2 overtime win against Kazakhstan. Team USA currently sits in third place in the Helsinki Group with a record of 4-1-0 (10pts). The US closes Group Play with games against Finland (Sunday) and Switzerland (Tuesday).

  - Antti Pihlstrom scored the game's opening goal in Finland game versus Canada today, but the Canadians rallied with three second period and two third period goals to top the Finns, 5-3. Canada (4-0-1) moved into first place in the Helsinki Group, one point ahead of Finland (4-1-0). Finland closed Group Play against USA (Sunday) and Kazakhstan (Monday).

  - Patric Hornqvist, just added by Team Sweden yesterday, was not in the lineup for Swedens game today against Russia, a 7-3 loss, but is expected to play for the Swedes tomorrow against Italy. Sweden is 4-1-0 (12pts) through its first five games of the tournament with Group Play games remaining against Italy (Saturday) and Latvia (Tuesday).

  - Belarus (Andrei and Sergei Kostitsyn) and Switzerland (Roman Josi) both had the day off today.

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