Nashville was well represented in Saturday’s game between the United States and Switzerland as seven Predators players and coaches found themselves on opposite sides of the ice. The United States, who trailed the Swiss 2-1 at the start of the third period, soon evened the score when Predators forward Craig Smith tallied his first goal of the tournament. Late in the third period, Preds defenseman Seth Jones assisted on Team USA’s third tally, the game winner. With the 3-2 win, Team USA bench boss Peter Laviolette improved to 2-0 since being introduced as Nashville’s new head coach.
For the Swiss, Predators defenseman Roman Josi led his team in time on ice (23:39) for the second straight game. Preds forward Simon Moser recorded two shots on goal and finished with a +1 rating in 18:33 of ice time.
Elsewhere on Saturday, Predators prospect Miikka Salomaki scored Finland’s first goal of the game in the Finn’s 3-2 loss to Latvia. Preds goaltender Pekka Rinne made 23 saves in the loss. In Finland’s Sunday contest against Russia, a 4-2 loss, Preds prospect Juuse Saros dressed for his first tournament game, backing up Finnish goaltender Mikko Koskinen.
Canada tallied their first win in the tournament, beating Slovakia 4-1. Preds defenseman Ryan Ellis played 17:48 in the game.
In the Swede’s tournament opening contest against Denmark, Preds defenseman Mattias Ekholm assisted on Mikael Backlund’s first goal of the game, the eventual game winner in Sweden’s 3-0 victory. On Sunday, Sweden took home their second win of the weekend, beating the Czech Republic 4-3. Against the Czech’s Preds forward Calle Jarnkrork was a +1 and played 16:23, second highest among Swedish forwards. In both weekend contests, Ekholm was second among Swedish defensemen in time on ice (19:21).
On Monday, Switzerland will look to take home their first win of the tournament as they take on tournament host Belarus at 8:45 a.m. CT. Also on Monday, it’s the United States vs. Russia and Canada vs. the Czech Republic, both 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.