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Red Wings shine at 2021 IIHF World Championship

Troy Stecher earns gold; Moritz Seider voted Best Defenseman

by Staci Burlingame @DetroitRedWings /

DETROIT -- After beginning the IIHF World Championship with three losses in three games, Troy Stecher and Team Canada were all but counted out to take home the gold. On Sunday, they did just that, defeating Finland in a 3-2 overtime thriller in Riga, Latvia. Finland had edged Canada, 3-2 in a group play shootout four days prior.

Stecher, the Red Wings defenseman and Team Canada alternate captain, led the team in time on ice on Sunday, playing just under 28 minutes. He saw more than 28 minutes in Saturday's 4-2 semifinal win over Team USA and ended the tournament with an average ice time of more than 22 minutes.

Tweet from @DetroitRedWings: 🥇🙌#IIHFWorlds | #LGRW

Stecher averaged 17:15 of ice time through 44 games in his first season with Detroit and made headlines in Canada's 2-1 overtime win over ROC in the quarterfinals. His first assist of the tournament proved to be a big one as he stickhandled through two ROC players and dished the game-winning assist to Andrew Mangiapane, a forward for the Calgary Flames.

Tweet from @IIHFHockey: THEY DID IT!!! 🇨🇦 Canada wins in overtime!! Andrew Mangiapane is the hero in OT to defeat Russia! 🔥@HockeyCanada #IIHFWorlds #ROCCAN @NHLFlames

After a strong tournament showing and some new hardware to don, the 27-year-old will shift focus to the offseason with Detroit. His two-year deal, signed on October 10, 2020, expires at the conclusion of the 2021-22 season.

In Sunday's bronze medal game, Red Wings prospect Moritz Seider and Team Germany were defeated, 6-1, by Team USA. The fourth-place finish was Germany's best in 11 years.

Despite a disappointing final game, Seider shined in the tournament as one of the youngest members of Team Germany. At just 20 years old, he picked up five assists and was voted Best Defenseman by the Tournament Directorate. Seider also made the tournament All-Star team as one of two selected defensemen, as chosen by the media.

Tweet from @DetroitRedWings: 🔥🔥🔥#IIHFWorlds | #LGRW

Both recognitions came on the heels of his recent selection as Best Defenseman in the Swedish Hockey League for the 2020-21 season. With five assists in the tournament and a consistently developing presence on the blue line, Seider has continued to prove why he was selected sixth overall in the 2019 NHL Entry Draft. He will now look ahead to the beginning of Red Wings training camp this fall.

Detroit defenseman Filip Hronek and forwards Jakub Vrana and Filip Zadina saw their tournament hopes come to an end when Finland handed the Czech Republic a 1-0 loss in the quarterfinals. Despite an earlier exit than anticipated, the Red Wings' trio stood out in the tournament, each picking up four points and earning a collective plus-8 rating.

Hronek and Vrana will both head into their offseason as restricted free agents, while Zadina has one year remaining on his entry-level-contract. NHL Free Agency begins on July 28 at 12 p.m.

Red Wings head athletic therapist Piet Van Zant also joins Stecher in bringing some hardware back to Detroit, as he represented Team USA as an athletic trainer for the second time in his career. Van Zant recently completed his 19th season as head athletic therapist with the Red Wings, 28th with the organization and earned a bronze medal in Team USA's 6-1 victory over Germany on Saturday. Former Red Wings alternate captain Justin Abdelkader, who was injured during group play, also picked up a bronze medal as Team USA's captain.

Tweet from @DetroitRedWings: Shoutout to #RedWings Head Athletic Therapist, Piet Van Zant who took home a bronze medal as part of Team USA���s training staff!

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