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Preds Representatives Shine on Day Six in Minsk

by Alexis Tahara / Nashville Predators

Pekka Rinne recorded his second shutout in as many games as Finland blanked the Belarusians 2-0 in the sixth day of competition at the 2014 IIHF World Championship. In addition to his shutout, Rinne, who was named Finland’s player of the game, was credited with an assist on Petri Kontiola’s game-winning goal.

Rinne wasn’t the only Predators representative that shined in international competition on Thursday. In Canada’s 6-1 win over Denmark, Predators defenseman Ryan Ellis found the scoresheet for the second straight game, tallying two assists and a +3 rating. Ellis now has three assists for the event and has recorded a +1 rating or better in three of Canada’s four games.

Mattias Ekholm logged more than 21 minutes; the most of any Swedish skater, in Sweden’s 2-1 win over France. With the win, Sweden maintains their spot atop Group A halfway through the preliminary round.

Seth Jones led all U.S. skaters in ice time (25:32) and tallied three points (1g-2a) and Craig Smith recorded two points (1g-1a) on his way to being named the United States’ player of the game in the Americans 6-5 loss to Latvia.

On Wednesday, the Preds representatives in Minsk also excelled as Roman Josi and Simon Moser helped Switzerland take home their first victory of the tournament, a 3-2 win over Germany.

In the contest, Josi, who was named Switzerland’s player of the game, recorded two assists and led Swiss skaters in time on ice (25:16) for the fourth straight game. Moser added an assist in 16:38, the second-highest time on ice among Swiss forwards.

With Smith and Rinne taking home “Best Player” honors on Thursday, the Predators have now had a representative named “Best Player” for three straight days (Tuesday: Mattias Ekholm, Sweden, Wednesday: Roman Josi, Switzerland).

Both the United States and Canada play again on Friday at 8:45 a.m. CT; the Americans will face Kazakhstan and the Canadians take on Italy. Also on Friday, Finland is set to play Switzerland at 12:45 p.m.

The Nashville Predators have 13 representatives at the 2014 World Championship being held May 9-25 in Minsk, Belarus. Head Coach Peter Laviolette, Assistant Coach Phil Housley, Video Coach Lawrence Feloney, Seth Jones and Craig Smith are representing the United States, who is looking for back-to-back medals at the tournament after a bronze a year ago; Miikka Salomaki, Pekka Rinne and Juuse Saros are playing for Finland; Calle Jarnkrok and Mattias Ekholm are looking to defend Sweden’s crown at the tournament; Simon Moser and Roman Josi are looking to build on a silver-medal winning performance in last year’s worlds for Switzerland; and Ryan Ellis is playing for Canada.

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