For a pair of Ottawa Senators, it's on to bigger and better things.
But for a third, not so much at the 2010 IIHF World Hockey Championship in Germany.
Despite a 2-1 loss to the Czech Republic earlier today in Mannheim, Senators defenceman Erik Karlsson
and Sweden finished on top of Group C. And Sens forward Peter Regin
and surprising Denmark, which wound up third in Group D, will join the Swedes in the next phase of the competition, which begins Friday in Cologne and Mannheim.
Joining Karlsson and Regin in the qualification round is Binghamton Senators forward Kaspars Daugavins
and Latvia, which claimed third place in Group B. The top three in each of four groups moved forward in the tournament, while the bottom teams now play in the relegation round. Shockingly, that group includes Sens forward Nick Foligno
and the United States, which went winless in three preliminary round starts.
For the qualification round, the remaining 12 teams are regrouped in two pools of six, with the top four in each moving on to the quarter-finals. In play Friday, Sweden faces off against Latvia in Mannheim, while Regin's Danes tangle with Slovakia in Cologne. The quarter-finals are slated for May 20, the semifinals on May 22 and the medal games on May 23. The semis and medal games will all be played in Cologne.
Meanwhile, the heat is on Foligno and the Americans to avoid relegation to Division 1 next year. But the U.S. can avoid that fate with wins Saturday against Kazakhstan and Sunday versus France. They'll also get a third shot at victory in a Tuesday matchup with Italy. The bottom two teams in the relegation round drop down and will be replaced by Austria and Slovenia in 2011.