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by Rob Crean / Buffalo Sabres
Sabres forward Paul Gaustad (Team USA) and defenseman Marc-Andre Gragnani (Team Canada) are representing their countries in the 2011 International Ice Hockey Federation (IIHF) World Championship in Slovakia, which began April 29 and will conclude with the medal games on May 15. will provide updates on Gaustad, Gragnani and their respective teams throughout the tournament.

Both teams have advanced to the Quarterfinal Round.  Team USA will face the Czech Republic on Wednesday (May 11) while Canada will take on Russia on Thursday (May 12).

Marc-Andre Gragnani

Marc-Andre Gragnani
Gragnani finished his first international tournament with Hockey Canada with two points (1 goal, 1 assist), two penalty minutes, a +3 rating and nine shots on goal while averaging 10:07 of ice time.  

MAY 12:
Canada was eliminated from the tournament as a result of a 2-1 loss to Russia.  Gragnani logged 7:31 of ice time while skating in his sixth game of the tournament.

MAY 9:
Team Canada defeated Sweden 3-2 to stay undefeated in the tournament.  Gragnani logged 6:56 of ice time in the victory.

MAY 7:
Gragnani and Team Canada clinched a spot in the quarterfinal round with a 3-2 win over Norway.  Gragnani registered two shots on goal in 8:09 of ice time in the victory.

MAY 6:
Gragnani recorded an assist on a third-period goal by John Tavares in Canada's 4-3 overtime win over Team USA.  He finished the game with four shots on goal, a +1 rating and 13:47 of ice time.

MAY 3:
In Canada's 4-3 overtime win over Switzerland, Gragnani recorded two shots on goal in 9:21 of ice time.

MAY 1:
Gragnani opened the scoring for Team Canada in a 9-1 rout of France on Sunday when he scored a power play goal just over a minute into the contest.  The assists on the goal were credited to Toronto defenseman Dion Phaneuf and Ottawa center Jason Spezza. Gragnani, who was competing in his first game of the tournament, also logged 14:59 of ice time and a +2 rating. 

APR. 29: Gragnani did not appear in Canada’s tournament-opening win over Belarus last Friday.

Gragnani appeared in nine regular season games for Buffalo this season, recording 1-2-3.  He then played in all seven of the team's postseason games against Philadelphia and led the Sabres in scoring with 1-6-7 to set the franchise record for most points by a rookie in one playoff series.  The 24-year-old spent most of the season with Portland of the AHL, where he was named the league's Defenseman of the Year and received First AHL All-Star team honors.  A native of Montreal, Quebec, Gragnani is appearing in his first tournament with Hockey Canada.

Paul Gaustad

Paul Gaustad
Gaustad, who was making his debut in international competition for Team USA, appeared in six games for the American club and finished the tournament with one assist,  four penalty minutes, three shots on goal and a -3 rating while averaging 11:46 of ice time and serving as an alternate captain and one of his team's top face-off men.

MAY 11:
Team USA was eliminated from the tournament with a 4-0 loss to the Czech Republic in the quarterfinals.  Gaustad logged 11:55 of ice time and was whistled for an interference penalty in the first period.

MAY 9:
Team USA has advanced to the quarterfinals despite a 5-3 loss to Switzerland on Monday.  Gaustad posted a tournament-high 14:16 of ice time in the loss while finishing with a -2 rating.

MAY 7:
Gaustad picked up his first point of the tournament as he recorded an assist on a goal by Mark Stuart in Team USA's 3-2 victory over France. Gaustad finished with 10:40 of ice time and a +1 rating in the win, which moved the American team one step closer to the quarterfinals.

MAY 6:
Gaustad played 12:42 for Team USA in a 4-3 overtime loss to Canada and was credited with one shot on goal.  He was utilized late in the game on several occasions to take important face-offs for the American squad.

MAY 4:
In Team USA's 6-2 loss to Sweden, Gaustad registered one shot and a -1 rating in 10:16 of ice time.

MAY 2:
Gaustad made his Team USA debut in the club's 4-2 come-from-behind win over Norway on Monday. While serving as one of the team's alternate captains, Gaustad logged 10:52 of ice time in the game and was whistled for a roughing penalty in the first period.

APR. 30: Gaustad was named to Team USA’s roster on Friday and did not dress in the club’s 5-1 win over Austria on Saturday.  Gaustad, a native of Fargo, North Dakota, has yet to appear in international competition and will be making his Team USA debut.

Gaustad played in 81 games for the Sabres during the regular season, recording 12-19-31 and 101 penalty minutes.  His 12 goals tied a career-high.  Gautad ranked 3rd in the NHL and 1st on the Sabres during the regular season in face-off winning percentage at 58.9% (692-1158).  He also led all Sabres forwards in hits with 128, which ranked 2nd on the team. During the postseason, Gaustad ranked 2nd among Sabres forwards and 5th on the team in total ice time.  

For more information on the 2011 IIHF World Championship, you can check out the tournament website by clicking here.

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