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World Championship Update

Klingberg, Honka, Nichushkin head to quarterfinals; Roussel co-leads tournament in goal scoring, but France misses playoffs

by Mark Stepneski @StarsInsideEdge / Inside Edge

Defensemen John Klingberg, Julius Honka and forward Valeri Nichushkin all are moving on to the quarterfinals at the 2017 World Championship in Paris, France and Cologne, Germany. Forward Antoine Roussel and France came up short in preliminary round play and didn't make the playoffs in the tournament played on their home soil.

Here's a brief update on Dallas players taking part in the World Championship, where the playoffs get underway Thursday.

Antoine Roussel, France: Roussel recorded eight points (six goals, two assists) in seven games, co-leading the tournament in goal scoring through the preliminary round. He notched a hat trick in France's final game of the tournament, a 4-1 win over Slovenia Monday. Roussel scored twice on the power play and sealed Monday's victory with an empty-net shorthanded goal for the French, who missed the playoff round of the tournament by one point.

"The team played well," Roussel told IIHF.com. "It's a tough pill to swallow. We worked so hard and so long, but we have to be happy as well. We brought a lot of heart to the game. There's a lot more positives than negatives."

Roussel tied teammate Stephane Da Costa and Team USA's Johnny Gaudreau for the goal scoring lead in the preliminary round.

John Klingberg, D, Sweden: Klingberg led Swedish defensemen in scoring through the preliminary round, tallying five points (one goal, four assists) in seven games. Klingberg, who played primarily on a pair with Vancouver's Alex Edler, recorded a plus-five rating in the seven games. He averaged 18:46 of ice time, which ranked fourth among an impressive Swedish blue line that included Tampa Bay's Victor Hedman and Anton Stralman, Arizona's Oliver Ekman-Larsson, Minnesota's Jonas Brodin, and Klingberg and Edler. Sweden finished third in Group A and will take on Switzerland, which finished second in Group B, in Thursday's quarterfinal round.

Julius Honka, D, Finland: Honka tied for the team lead in scoring among defensemen, recording three points (one goal, two assists) in seven games for Finland. His lone goal came in a 3-2 win over Norway on Saturday, when he scored on a blast from the left point. He played on the top defense pair for the Finns and ranked second among defensemen on the team in ice time at 17:14 per game. His 23 shots on goal led Finland and ranked sixth among all players in the tournament during the preliminary round. Finland, which finished fourth in Group B will play the USA, which won Group A, in the quarterfinals.

Valeri Nichushkin, LW, Russia: Nichushkin was with the Russian team at the beginning of the World Championship, but wasn't added to the roster until one week into the tournament. He suited up for three games, playing on the fourth line in each one. He recorded no points, six shots on goal and an even rating. Russia finished second in Group A and will play Czech Republic, which finished third in Group B, in the quarterfinals. Nichushkin played in the KHL last season. The Stars still hold his NHL rights and his status for next season is still up in the air.

Thursday's Quarterfinals Schedule

USA vs. Finland, 9 a.m.
Russia vs. Czech Republic, 9 a.m.
Canada vs. Germany, 1 p.m.
Switzerland vs. Sweden, 1 p.m.

This story was not subject to approval of the National Hockey League or Dallas Stars Hockey Club. Mark Stepneski is an independent writer whose posts on DallasStars.com reflect his own opinions and do not represent official statements from the Dallas Stars. You can follow Mark on Twitter @StarsInsideEdge.

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