DETROIT -- The 2021 International Ice Hockey Federation World Championship in Latvia has a strong representation of Detroit Red Wings players trying to lead their respective countries to a prestigious title.
Heading into the weekend, Detroit defenseman Troy Stecher and prospect Moritz Seider will see their respective countries of Canada and Germany advance to the semifinals after overtime victories in the quarterfinal round. Canada will play the United States at 7:15 a.m. on Saturday, followed by Germany taking on Finland at 11:15 a.m.
The Czech Republic, featuring Jakub Vrana, Filip Zadina and Filip Hronek, came up just short in a 1-0 quarterfinal loss to Finland, while Albert Johansson and Sweden was unable to advance past the championship's preliminary round.
Let's take an in-depth look at the performances of the Red Wings' active players and prospects as the IIHF World Championship heads into the medal rounds.
After a dynamic start to his early career with the Red Wings, (eight goals and three assists in just 11 games) Vrana carried that momentum over to a strong performance for his native Czech Republic.
Vrana was named his team's player of the game after scoring the first of four third-period goals in the Czech's 4-2 come-from-behind victory over Sweden on May 27. Vrana played six games in the preliminary round, scoring two goals and adding a pair of assists as the Czech Republic finished in third place in Group A.
After a 2020-21 NHL season in which he appeared in a career-high 49 games and solidified his place in the Red Wings lineup, Zadina also played a key role for the Czech Republic at the World Championship.
Zadina notched a goal and an assist in the first period of the Czech's 7-3 win over rival Slovakia on Tuesday and totaled two goals and a pair of assists in the preliminary round.
A mainstay on the Red Wings' blue line, Hronek continued to excel with his playmaking at the World Championship, collecting a goal and tallying three assists in the preliminary round.
Hronek posted a two-assist game in the Czech's 3-2 overtime victory over Belarus on May 24 and picked up his goal with a highlight-reel effort against Great Britain after receiving a nice pass from Zadina on May 29.
Stecher, who tallied 11 points and was a consistent presence on the blue line in his first year with the Red Wings this past season, helped Canada bounce back from three straight losses to start the tournament.
The Canadians rallied on Thursday in their quarterfinal matchup against Russia with a 2-1 OT victory, thanks in part to a nifty move by Stecher around the Russian defense that found Andrew Mangiapane of the Calgary Flames for the game-winner.
During the preliminary round, Stecher picked up a goal in Canada's 7-1 win over Italy on May 30 and was named his team's player of the game in a loss to the United States on May 23.
A top prospect in the Red Wings' system, Seider has continued his impressive play at the World Championship after being named the Swedish Hockey League's Defenseman of the Year as a 20-year-old.
Seider played 23 minutes, the second-most of any player for Germany, in its 3-2 shootout win over Switzerland in the quarterfinals on Thursday.
In the preliminary round, Seider recorded four assists, including the primary helper on Germany's first goal against Latvia that helped it advance to the quarterfinals as the third-place team from Group B. He was named player of the game for the Germans in their 3-2 loss to Kazakhstan on May 26.
Following Saturday's semifinals, Sunday's Bronze Medal and Gold Medal games, the 63rd and 64th games of the IIHF World Championship, will be played at 8:15 a.m. and 1:15 p.m., respectively. All games in the semifinals and championship round will be broadcast on the NHL Network.