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Five Wild players set for Men's Worlds

by Staff Writer / Minnesota Wild
SAINT PAUL/MINNEAPOLIS, Minn. -- The National Hockey League’s (NHL) Minnesota Wild announced today that five players are set to participate in the 2008 Men’s World Hockey Championships in Quebec City, Quebec and Halifax, Nova Scotia.  Based on preliminary roster submissions, D Brent Burns will represent Canada, C Morten Madsen (4th round pick in 2005, played for Houston Aeros this season) will play for Denmark, G Niklas Backstrom and C Mikko Koivu will represent Finland and RW Julien Sprunger (4th round pick in 2004, played for HC Fribourg-Gotteron in Swiss League this season) will represent Switzerland. 

The World Championships begin Friday, May 2 with each team playing three games against teams in its Group in a round-robin format.  After a single round-robin series in each group, the top three teams from each group advance to the Qualification Round while the fourth-placed team in each group moves to the Relegation Round.

The Qualification Round consists of two groups (E=A+D and F=B+C) with six teams each, playing a single round robin. The teams carry the points from the Preliminary Round with the teams that they played and advance with.  Teams, which have played in the Preliminary Round, do not meet again in the Qualification Round.

In the Quarterfinals, the first-place team in each Qualification Round group plays the fourth-place team from the same group, while the second-place team plays the third-place team in the same Qualification Round group (E1-E4, E2-E3, F1-F4, F2-F3).  The winning teams advance to the semifinals May 16.  The Bronze Medal game is May 17 and the Gold Medal game will be played May 18.
Canada claimed the gold medal last year with a 4-2 win over Finland.  Russia won the bronze medal and the United States finished fifth.

Group A (Quebec)  Group D (Quebec)  Group B (Halifax)  Group C (Halifax)   
Belarus                    Czech Republic       Canada                   Finland               
France                      Denmark                  Latvia                       Germany       
Sweden                    Italy                            Slovenia                  Norway                   
Switzerland             Russia                      United States         Slovakia
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