Sunday, May 17 - Bronze Medal Game
Team USA and three Predators representatives (Seth Jones, Jimmy Vesey and Steve Moses) won bronze at the 2015 World Championship with a 3-0 win over the Czech Republic.
The Americans bounced back from a loss to Russia on Saturday to claim their second medal at the Worlds in the last three years (also won bronze in 2013). For Moses, Jones and Vesey (who might all suit up in Preds Gold at some point during the 2015-16 season) it was their first time taking home medals from the tournament. Jones was again a key part in the United States game plan, recording the second-most minutes (21:09) and skating as a plus-2 on the day.
The shutout loss was the Czechs' second in as many days as they lost to the Worlds eventual gold-medal winner, Canada, on Saturday.
Preds goaltender Pekka Rinne was named the tournament's top goaltender following the Gold Medal Game.
Saturday, May 16 - Semifinals
Final: Russia 4, USA 0
A scoreless tie lasted late into regulation, but a goal by Sergei Mozyakin in the first half of the third period blew open the game for Russia versus Team USA and the three remaining Preds representatives at the World Championship. Shortly after Mozyakin's tally, the Russians poured on three more scores over the next 11 minutes.
Seth Jones, Steve Moses and Jimmy Vesey guided the United States to the semifinals and the top seed in Group B, but the Americans could not defeat the Russians for a second time when it mattered most. USA will settle for a chance at bronze instead of gold with a meeting with the Czech Republic on Sunday (at 9:15 a.m. CT).
Throughout the contest, Preds prospect Jimmy Vesey head manned the USA’s attack, picking up several glorious scoring chances, but ultimately, neither he nor the rest of the Americans could solve Sergei Bobrovsky (Columbus Blue Jackets).
Held of the scoreboard for the opening 40 minutes, the USA still entered the third with a strong chance to advance, but Bobrovsky was simply too much for the young American squad.
Thursday, May 14 - Quarterfinals
Final: USA 3, Switzerland 1
Five Nashville Predators faced off in the first game of the 2015 World Championship quarterfinals (USA: Seth Jones, Jimmy Vesey, Steve Moses; Switzerland: Roman Josi, Kevin Fiala). The top-ranked squad in Group B, the United States hosted the offensively challenged Swiss, but it was Josi that tallied the contest's opening goal in the first period off an incredible individual effort:
Vesey and Jones collected the primary assists on two USA goals in the middle period, bringing the Preds' point total in the game to three and the score to 2-1.
Halfway through the third frame, Jake Gardiner stretched the Americans lead to 3-1 with a point shot through traffic, and USA hung on to advance to the semifinals. Josi and Fiala's run at the Worlds comes to an end.
Final: Russia 5, Sweden 3
Two more Preds reps jumped into the quarterfinals action when Filip Forsberg, Mattias Ekholm and Sweden clashed with Russia. The Swedes were overrun in the contest's first 21 minutes, falling behind 3-0.
John Klingberg put Sweden on the board before the second intermission horn and started quite a run for Tre Kronor. After an Anton Lander goal, Ekholm assisted on Loui Eriksson's score to even the game at 3-3 with roughly five minutes to play.
But then the Russians answered right back:
An empty netter sealed the win for Russia and concluded Forsberg and Ekholm's time in the Czech Republic. No. 9 for Nashville finished with eight goals in eight games played, tied for the most by any skater.
Final: Czech Republic 5, Finland 3
Unfortunately, more bad news for Preds fans was still to come as Pekka Rinne and Juuse Saros became the fifth and sixth Nashville players to be eliminated from the 2015 World Championship.
The Finns entered the third period down a goal, and like Sweden, were able to knot the game late thanks to Alex Barkov's goal:
Also similar to the Sweden and Russia game, the "road" team answered right back. Who else but the ageless wonder, Jaromir Jagr.
Rinne finished with 27 saves in the loss. The defeat was his first since Finland's initial game of the tournament on May 1 (versus USA).
In the end, three of nine Predators players will advance to the semifinals, which will be played on Saturday. All a part of Team USA, Seth Jones, Jimmy Vesey and Steve Moses will take on Russia at 12:15 p.m. (CT). The game can be viewed via NBCSN's live stream.
Tuesday, May 12
The final two games of the Preliminary Round both required shootouts to determine the winners with Finland and and the Czech Republic claiming wins over Russia and Switzerland respectively. The conclusion of the "group" section of play means the quarterfinals look like this:
|Seed: ||Team: ||Team: ||Schedule: |
|A4 vs. B1 ||Switzerland (Fiala, Josi) ||USA (Jones, Moses, Vesey) ||Thursday, 8:15 AM CT |
|B4 vs. A1 ||Belarus ||Canada ||Thursday, 9:15 AM CT |
|B3 vs. A2 ||Russia ||Sweden (Ekholm, Forsberg) ||Thursday, 12:15 PM CT |
|A3 vs. B2 ||Czech Republic ||Finland (Rinne, Saros) ||Thursday, 1:15 PM CT |
Note: You can watch all of the quarterfinals action via NBC Sports, here.
In the last contest of the Preliminary Round for both teams, the United States was hoping to clinch first place in Group B with a win against Slovakia. Mission accomplished.
The USA raced out to a roaring start by tallying three times in the opening 21 minutes and chasing Jan Laco from the Slovakian cage. Seth Jones scored his first goal of the tournament off a backdoor feed from Jack Eichel on the power play:
A roller coaster second period started with the USA taking a 3-0 lead and then watching as Slovakia netted four consecutive goals in a 12-minute span to wrest away the Americans' advantage. Charlie Coyle (Minnesota Wild) finally stopped the opposition's run by pulling the USA even again in the final minute of the middle frame.
No goals through the contest's final 20 minutes set up this finish from Eichel in overtime:
Note: Preds forward Steve Moses returned to game action after missing the last three United States contests with an injury.
Following the USA's OT win, four Preds reps took to the ice for their final action of the Preliminary Round - with all their positions in the quarterfinals already locked in. Switzerland (Roman Josi, Kevin Fiala) was locked into the fourth slot in Group A and a matchup with the United States, but Finland (Pekka Rinne, Juuse Saros) could improve their position from No. 3 to No. 2 with a win over Russia.
That's just what the Finns did with a 3-2 shootout victory and Rinne stopping 30 shots for his fifth win of the tournament.
The Swiss ended up on the wrong end of their shootout (2-1 loss), but did receive Fiala's first goal of the tournament.
Wednesday represents a day off for the nine Preds at the 2015 Worlds with quarterfinals action beginning on Thursday with Jones and Josi squaring off at 8:15 a.m. (CT).
Monday, May 11
At the 2015 World Championship, the only thing really keeping pace with Pekka Rinne's shutout streak has been Filip Forsberg's goal scoring prowess. On the same day that the Predators goalie set the World Championship record for a shutout span (nearly four total games in a row), Forsberg lit the lamp twice more for his seventh and eighth markers of the tournament. The gaudy total has the 20-year-old two scores ahead of the entire field for the most goals tallied at the Worlds (seven games played).
Forsberg's pair of goals on Monday lifted the Swedes to a 4-2 win over France in Tre Kronor's final game before the quarterfinals. The round of eight, that is set to begin play on Thursday, currently has Forsberg and Mattias Ekholm pitted against Pekka Rinne and Team Finland.
Earlier in the day, Pekka Rinne and the Finns picked up a dramatic shootout victory over Belarus while the Preds goalie claimed an impressive personal accomplishment along the way.
Rinne and Nashville goalie prospect Juuse Saros entered Monday's contest with a shutout streak of 251:56, a total that easily bested the combined blank sheet record of 209:02 set by Sweden in 1957 (58 years ago). After a spotless first period against Belarus, Rinne also set the individual shutout record with over 10 periods of perfect play.
The netminder's shutout stretch would eventually carry into the third period:
Oh and this save happened too:
The 32-year-old Kempele, Finland, native was eventually beaten five minutes into the third.
Finland's first goal given up in nearly five consecutive contests served as a rallying point for the team, however, as the Finns notched the next two goals to carry a 2-1 advantage into the final minute of regulation. With Belarus netminder Vitali Koval on the bench for an extra attacker, former Pred Sergei Kostitsyn helped set up the game-tying goal with 31 ticks remaining.
Following a scoreless overtime, the Finns connected on all three of their shootout attempts for a 3-2 win and two points that put them a single point back of Group B's leader: the United States.
Sunday, May 10
The Americans moved back into the top spot in Group B with a 3-1 win versus Slovenia, the group's bottom dweller.
Preds forward Steve Moses was absent for the third consecutive contest due to injury, while Seth Jones and Jimmy Vesey picked up a combined four shots but were held off the score sheet. Jones turned in a plus-2 rating on the day and saw Brock Nelson (New York Islanders) collect three points to carry the USA to victory.
Sunday's win pushed the Americans to 15 points, and with one game remaining in the Preliminary Round, the USA clinched their spot in the quarterfinals that begin on Thursday.
The Swiss ended a streak of putting up a single goal in four contests in a row, but even lighting the lamp twice on Sunday wasn't nearly enough as the Canadians powered past Switzerland 7-2.
Roman Josi, Kevin Fiala and the Swiss find themselves locked into the fourth spot in Group A, a position which means they will claim the group's final ticket to the quarterfinals.
Fiala was forced to temporarily leave the loss to Canada, but was able to return later.
Saturday, May 9
Four Predators faced off against one another to conclude play on Saturday as Sweden took down Switzerland 2-1 in overtime.
Filip Forsberg played the role of hero as he beat out Nashville teammate Roman Josi for a lose puck and swatted the biscuit into the cage for the game winner. The tally was the winger's sixth of the tournament, putting him alone in first as the Worlds' leading goal scorer.
"Shutout victory; shutout victory; shutout victory; shutout victory;" is how the scorecard reads for Finland in their last four contests at the World Championship. Preds prospect Juuse Saros went between the pipes on Saturday for his first action of the tournament and continued Pekka Rinne's shutout streak of three-straight contests for the Finns to a fourth game.
Even after just two periods of scoreless hockey, the tandem of Preds goalies had combined for something pretty special, besting a combined shutout streak set by Sweden 58 years ago (in 1957).
Saros wasn't done there, however, as he kept the door shut through the final 20 minutes of regulation and received three goals in support for a 22-save blank sheet in a 3-0 triumph over Slovakia.
Friday, May 8
With Steve Moses still sidelined with a lower-body injury, Seth Jones and Jimmy Vesey were the only two Preds in action on Friday. The Americans pulled out a bounce-back, 1-0 win over Denmark with Jones logging a team-high 23:30 of time on ice. Nashville's 20-year-old blueliner was voted the game's top performer and was on the ice for the contest's only score that gave the United States a fourth victory at the 2015 World Championship.
Vesey, Jones and the Americans again lead Group B and have a day off until they take the ice on Sunday versus Slovakia.
Thursday, May 7
Pekka Rinne’s shutout streak stretched to three consecutive games following a 13-save performance against Slovakia on Thursday. The Finnish netminder has blank sheets in nearly half of his games played the last two years at the Worlds with six shutouts in 13 contests.
Rinne sports a 1.01 goals-against average and a trio of shutouts at the 2015 tournament, both of which are tops among goaltenders.
A scary moment for Mattias Ekholm defined the Swede’s 4-3 win over Germany. While skating across the Germans’ blue line, the D-man appeared to take a high hit from Stephan Daschner. The 24-year-old left the ice while Daschner received a major penalty (interference) and a game misconduct on the play.
Fortunately, and somewhat incredibly, Ekholm was able to return to the game for the second period. Oh hockey players:
Off to their first 3-0 start at the World Championship in nearly 20 years, Team USA lost to Belarus for the initial time in either nation's history. Preds forward Steve Moses did not play in the contest due to injury and is doubtful for Friday’s tilt versus Denmark.
Seth Jones and Jimmy Vesey were held off the scoresheet in the 5-2 defeat, with Vesey’s backhand off a breakaway being denied by Kevin Lalande in the second frame.
Wednesday, May 6
What began with such promise for Team Sweden, along with Filip Forsberg and Mattias Ekholm, ended badly in a 6-4 loss to Canada. In the first period, Forsberg capped off a dominating opening frame for Tre Kronor by patiently cutting toward the slot and firing a rocket of a wrister for a 3-0 lead.
The score was Forsberg's fifth of the tournament, a tally that temporarily put him all alone in the goal-scoring lead at the 2015 Worlds. The winger's scoring lead and his team's advantage on the scoreboard would not last, however. Taylor Hall (Edmonton Oilers) tallied on a penalty shot to cut the Swedes lead to 3-2 and tie Forsberg in goals scored (five), and eventually the Canadians pulled away in the third.
But hey, at least the Preds' leading scorer in 2014-15 kept throwing his patent-pending reverse checks:
Wednesday also saw poor results for the other two Preds representatives in action at the World Championship.
More third period offense was enough to tie the game for Switzerland, but unable to muster any additional attack, Roman Josi, Kevin Fiala and the Swiss fell 2-1 in overtime to Latvia. Group A's last-placed team, Latvia's OT win gives them a small amount of hope of advancing to the quarterfinals. The Swiss remain in the group's Top Three with eight points earned at the tournament.
Tuesday, May 5:
Roman Josi and Kevin Fiala picked up a dramatic 1-0 victory in a must-win versus Germany. The only Preds in action on Tuesday, Josi and Fiala were both held off the score sheet but watched Denis Hollenstein tally the game's only marker with under eight minutes remaining in regulation. The three points earned put the Swiss solidly in Group A's Top Four, a position they'll need to hold in order to advance to the quarterfinals, which begin next week.
Wednesday promises to be a day filled with more exciting action, as not only are Josi and Fiala back on the ice (versus Latvia), but Filip Forsberg and Mattias Ekholm (and Team Sweden) will take on Canada in a 1-2 matchup of the top squads in Group A.
Monday, May 4:
Team Sweden's incredible offensive output continued on Monday as the team netted eight goals in a 8-1 win over Latvia. Filip Forsberg remained red hot, adding a goal to go with his four points the day before.
No. 9's tally came on a penalty shot as the winger went upstairs on Edgars Masalskis while one-on-one with the netminder.
Mattias Ekholm collected an assist for the second-straight contest.
Preds representatives Seth Jones, Jimmy Vesey and Steve Moses paced the Americans to their third victory in as many tries with a 4-2 triumph over Sergei Bobrovsky (Columbus Blue Jackets) and the Russians.
Jones dished out two helpers on the Americans' first two scores.
A day after recording his first shutout of the tournament, Pekka Rinne made 20 more saves for his second-straight blank sheet in a 5-0 Finland win over Norway. Rinne, the 2014 MVP of the tournament, now has two shutouts in three games played after falling 5-1 to USA in both teams' initial game at the World Championship.
Sunday, May 3:
While many of us were still asleep back in Middle Tennessee, Filip Forsberg was doing what he does best: scoring goals - many, many goals.
The 6-1 triumph over Austria featured a four-point performance for the Preds first-year forward and an assist for Mattias Ekholm.
Preds goaltender Pekka Rinne took matters into his own hands in order to guide Team Finland to their first win at the 2015 Worlds. The 32-year-old Kempe, Finland, native notched 16 saves to register a shutout versus Denmark.
Later in the day, Seth Jones again anchored the United States' blue line, logging the team's second most time on ice with 23:14.
Team Switzerland rebounded from an opening game loss by beating France and again got offensive help from Kevin Fiala (0g,1a) and Roman Josi (1g,1a).
Saturday, May 2:
Roman Josi and Kevin Fiala waited until Saturday to log their first game action, falling 4-3 to the Austrians despite the pair of Swiss Preds each collecting assists.
Friday, May 1:
With nine Nashville Predators taking part in the 2015 IIHF World Championship it didn't take long at all for some of them to face off at opposite ends of the ice. On Friday, the United States and Finland helped open the tournament and Preds D-man Seth Jones did something that's usually only reserved for a Preds practice:
But it was a Pred still waiting to don Gold for the first time that got the Worlds off to a rocking start. Winger Steve Moses, signed to a one-year contract for the 2015-16 NHL season, cut wide and then threw a backhander off the crossbar and into the cage to give USA a 1-0 lead and officially introduce himself to Pekka Rinne.
Shortly after the Americans' 5-1 victory, Swedes Filip Forsberg and Mattias Ekholm also took to the ice and eventually claimed a 6-5 shootout win over the host nation.
Wednesday April 29 and Thursday, April 30:
Less than a week after their run in the 2015 Stanley Cup Playoffs concluded, Preds players started to arrive in the Czech Republic in advance of the 16 national team tournament.