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Griffins represented at World Championship

by Randy Cleves / Detroit Red Wings
GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. – Eight current and former members of the Grand Rapids Griffins will compete at the 2011 IIHF World Championship, hockey’s premier annual international event which begins today and runs through May 15 in Slovakia.

Sergei Kolosov (right), who recently completed his third season with the Griffins, is back for Belarus after representing his country at both the 2010 Vancouver Olympic Games and last year’s World Championship.

Other alumni slated to participate include Canada’s Jason Spezza (2001-02), the Czech Republic’s Karel Rachunek (1999-00), Norway’s Ole-Kristian Tollefsen (2009-10), Russia’s Konstantin Gorovikov (1999-01), Slovakia’s Pavol Demitra (1996-97), Switzerland’s Julien Vauclair (2001-02), and the United States’ Clay Wilson (2005-06).

Two members of the 2010-11 Griffins, Jan Mursak and Tomas Tatar, are notably absent from the tournament, as they remain with the Red Wings for the Stanley Cup playoffs. Last year, Mursak helped Slovenia earn a rare promotion to the top division World Championship by winning the Division I Group B tournament. Tatar, who is missing an opportunity to play for his country on its home ice, made his World Championship debut with Slovakia in 2010 as a 19-year-old.

Complete rosters, statistics and results for the 2011 IIHF World Championship can be found at The 16-nation tournament consists of a preliminary round (April 29-May 4), qualification round (May 5-9), relegation round (May 5-8), quarterfinals (May 11-12), semifinals (May 13), bronze medal game (May 15) and gold medal game (May 15).

Three Grand Rapids alumni took home medals during last year’s World Championship in Germany, as Rachunek won gold with the Czech Republic and Sweden’s Jonathan Ericsson (2006-09) and Michael Nylander (2009-10) earned bronze. Including gold medals for Russia’s Gorovikov in both 2008 and 2009, a former Griffin has won the World Championship three consecutive years.
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