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World Championship: Preds Perform Well in Prague

by Alexis Tahara / Nashville Predators


The 2015 IIHF World Championship wrapped up on Sunday with two medal games – Russia and Canada contesting for gold and the United States and the Czech Republic playing for bronze.

In the bronze medal game, the Americans faced off against the Czechs, who were playing in front of their home crowd in Prague, a rematch of last year’s quarterfinal contest between the two squads (the Czech Republic won 4-3 to eliminate the U.S.). On the heels of goals from Nick Bonino (Vancouver Canucks), Trevor Lewis (Los Angeles Kings) and Charlie Coyle (Minnesota Wild), the United States skated to a 3-0 win and earned bronze.

Preds defenseman Seth Jones played 21:09 in the game, second among American skaters and Preds forward Steve Moses played 8:08. Nashville forward prospect Jimmy Vesey did not play in the final game.

The bronze medal is America’s second in the last three years at the World Championship, the first time the United States has medaled twice in a three-year span since earning silver in 1950 and 1952.

The Gold Medal Game pitted Canada against Russia, last year’s gold medalists. Canada, who finished the tournament undefeated, outshot Russia 37-12 and tallied six goals to come away with a 6-1 victory and their first World Championship since 2007. With the win, Canada’s Sidney Crosby (Pittsburgh Penguins) became the 26th player to have won all three major hockey awards – the Stanley Cup, an Olympic Gold and a World Championship Gold (Triple Gold Club) – and the first player in hockey history to have served as captain of all three championship teams.

Following the Gold Medal Game, the tournament awards were announced with the Czech Republic’s Jaromir Jagr (Florida Panthers) taking home MVP honors. The tournament directorate selected Preds and Finnish goaltender Pekka Rinne the Best Goaltender of the tournament.

With the tournament in the books, the final 2015 Men’s World Hockey Ranking was released. With the World Championship win, Canada overtakes Russia (second) and Sweden (third) for the top spot. Finland, the United States, the Czech Republic, Switzerland, Slovakia, Belarus and Latvia round out the Top 10 in the Men’s World Ranking. The 2016 World Championship will take place in Moscow and St. Petersburg, Russia.


Here’s a quick look at some highlights from the Preds’ nine tournament representatives:

Seth Jones, USA

  • Named one of the Americans’ Top Three players (voted on by the coaches)
  • One of the United States’ top players in average time on ice
  • Finished the tournament with 21 shots on goal (10 games played), fourth among all tournament blueliners and tops among American skaters
  • Recorded four points (1g-3a) in 10 games played and was a plus-4 in tournament play

Steve Moses, USA

  • Tallied a two-point night (1g-1a) in Team USA’s first game against Finland; his goal was the Americans’ first of the tournament
  • Made his first international appearance for the Americans, playing in seven of the team’s 10 games (missed three due to injury)

Jimmy Vesey, USA

  • Recorded three tournament points (3a) and finished the tournament at plus-1
  • Played in nine of the United States’ 10 games

Pekka Rinne, Finland

  • Voted by the tournament directorate the top goalie of the Worlds
  • Recorded three shutouts, bringing his career shutout total at the World Championships to eight (tied for third most in tournament history)
  • Tallied an unbeaten stretch of 237:05 over the course of five games to set the IIHF modern era (since World War II) record
  • Among goaltenders who played seven or more games, finished third in save percentage (.928) and goals-against average (1.69)

Juuse Saros, Finland

  • Dressed as Rinne’s backup for Finland in six games
  • Stopped all 22 of Slovakia’s shots in his lone tournament start to record Finland’s third consecutive tournament shutout

Mattias Ekholm, Sweden

  • His 16 shots through eight games played earned him a spot in the Top 15 tournament defensemen in the category
  • Recorded three points (3a) and was a plus-2 in tournament play
  • One of Sweden’s leaders in average time on ice

Filip Forsberg, Sweden

  • Averaged more than a point-per-game, finishing with nine (8g-1a) in eight games played
  • His eight goals were one back of Tyler Seguin’s (Canada, 10 games played) tournament-leading nine
  • Recorded a hat trick and a four-point night (3g-1a) in Sweden’s win over Austria
  • Tallied two game-winning goals, tied for third in the tournament in the category
  • Was a plus-5 in tournament play
  • His 28 shots put him in the Top 10 among all tournament skaters and were second on his team in the category (behind Oscar Moller’s 29)

Roman Josi, Switzerland

  • His 20 shots in eight games played led Swiss defensemen and sat fifth among tournament blueliners
  • Finished the tournament with four points (2g-2a) in eight games, leading team defensemen and ranking second among all Swiss skaters in the category

Kevin Fiala, Switzerland

  • Recorded three points (1g-2a), the third most among all Swiss skaters and second among team forwards
  • Played in all eight of Switzerland’s games and tallied 19 shots on goal (fourth on the team)

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