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Eight Wild Players Alive At World Championships

by Staff Writer / Minnesota Wild

 Mikko Koivu and Team Finland will take on the United States this Thursday in quarterfinal action.

The World Championship preliminary rounds are over and the quarterfinals kick off on Wednesday. Of the nine players with Minnesota Wild connections that are playing in this tournament, eight of them are still alive.

The top Wild scorer in Moscow is Marian Gaborik, who has racked up five goals and five assists in just five games for Team Slovakia. He, along with countrymen Pavol Demitra (two goals, two assists) and Branko Radivojevic (one goal), finished the preliminary round with three wins and two losses. Slovakia will play Sweden on Wednesday.

While Gaborik leading Team Slovakia is not a shocker, the leading scorer for Finland comes as a bit of a surprise. Defenseman Petteri Nummelin is tied for the team lead in scoring with three goals and four assists in his 13th consecutive appearance at the World Championships. His friend from down the block, Mikko Koivu, has notched a shorthanded goal and an assist for the Finns, who are 3-2 in the tournament and will face Adam Hall and Team USA on Thursday.

Hall and the Americans won three of five games so far. Playing in his fifth straight World Championship tournament, Hall has notched an assist and a plus-two rating. Meanwhile, defenseman Nick Schultz is a plus-four with no points in six games for Team Canada, which earned the top spot in Group F.

Two Wild prospects are also participating the tournament. Julien Sprunger of Switzerland scored two goals in six games and will face the Canadians on Thursday. Morten Madsen scored a goal in five games for Denmark, which has been eliminated from competition after winning one of five contests.

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