With five days remaining before the start of the IIHF World Championship’s Quarterfinal round (begins May 12), the Nashville Predators representatives are all working to help their home countries secure spots in the next step toward the medal round.
Seth Jones, Jimmy Vesey, Steve Moses and Team USA dropped their first game of the tournament on Thursday against Belarus, falling 5-2. With nine points (3-0-0-1) through four games played, the Americans are tied with Russia for second in Group B.
In the contest, Jones, who is second among team defensemen in points (2a), led in time on ice (22:56). Vesey recorded two shots, bringing his tournament total to five. In his first World Championship appearance, Vesey has two assists in four games played. Moses, who has two points (1g-1a) in the tournament, did not play against Belarus due to injury.
The Americans return to the ice on Friday where they will look to return to the win column as they face off against Denmark.
Roman Josi, Kevin Fiala and Team Switzerland dropped a 2-1 overtime decision to Latvia on Wednesday, earning one point in the standings and putting them third in Group A through four games played.
Against Latvia, Josi played 23:41, second among all Swiss skaters, and recorded two shots on goal. Josi’s two shots improved his tournament shot total to 12, third among NHL defensemen. The Bern, Switzerland, native continues to be tied for the lead among Swiss skaters with three points (1g-2a), a mark that ties him for fifth among all tournament blueliners.
Fiala recorded two shots in 17:12 time on ice. For the tournament, Fiala’s two points (2a) tie him for third on the team in the category and his seven total shots are among the Swiss’ Top 10 in the category.
The Swiss return to action Saturday against Sweden where Josi and Fiala challenge two of their Nashville teammates in Filip Forsberg and Mattias Ekholm.
On Wednesday, Sweden dropped their first game of the tournament after going 2-1-0-0 in their first three games, falling to Canada 6-4. On the second half of their back-to-back Thursday, Tre Kronor rebounded with a 4-3 win over Germany.
Against the Canadians, Forsberg tallied his fifth goal of the tournament, a mark that leads his team and is tied for the top spot in the tournament (with Canada’s Taylor Hall). Forsberg’s six points (5g-1a) are second on Team Sweden and tied for eighth among all tournament players. In his first appearance on Sweden’s Senior-Level National Team, Forsberg is tied for third in the tournament in shots on goal (16).
Ekholm recorded one shot against Canada and two against Germany, improving his tournament total to 11, which puts him in sixth among all tournament blueliners. Late in the first period against the Germans, Ekholm took a hard hit from Germany’s Stephan Daschsner, who earned a major penalty and a game misconduct on the play. Ekholm returned at to start the second period and played 19:19 in the contest, fourth most along Swedish skaters and the second most among team blueliners.
Sweden returns to the ice on Saturday to take on Josi, Fiala and Team Switzerland.
The Suomi, once again led by goalie Pekka Rinne, rattled off their third consecutive shutout victory on Thursday against Slovenia, winning 4-0.
In stopping all 13 of Slovenia’s shots, Rinne recorded his sixth World Championship shutout in the past two years (13 games played). Rinne has not allowed a goal in his last 191:56 played, with the last one coming in the Finn’s first game on Friday, May 1 against Team USA. Through four games played, Rinne’s .946 save percentage is third among tournament goalies who have played three or more games and his 1.01 goals-against average is tops among backstops in the same category.
Finland takes on Slovakia on Saturday.
All of the United States’ games are shown live via NBC Sports Network or live stream online. For more information on how all the Nashville Predators representatives are doing at the event, stay tuned to NashvillePredators.com.