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Wild At World Championships

by Mike Doyle / Minnesota Wild

It looks like six players in the Wild organization are set to represent their country at the 2012 IIHF World Championships in Helsinki, Finland and Stockholm, Sweden.

Mikko Koivu will captain Team Finland, looking for their second-straight World Championship gold medal. He’ll be joined by 2010 first round pick Mikael Granlund. Along with winning last year’s World Championships, Finland comes into the tournament as the top ranked team. Last year, the Finns defeated Team Sweden in the championship game, 6-1.

Goaltender Matt Hackett will represent Canada for the first time in international play. Hackett played in 12 games with the Wild this season, earning three wins and posting a 2.37 goals against average and .922 save percentage.

Two Wild prospects are on Sweden's preliminary roster as of May 2. 2011 first round pick Jonas Brodin and 2010 second round pick Johan Larsson are currently on Team Sweden's roster. They both played for Sweden's gold medal winning team at the World Junior Championships earlier this year.

Goaltender Dennis Endras again will play for Germany bringing his international experience to the team. He was named the Most Valuable Player of the 2010 World Championships, becoming the first German to earn the honor.

The World Championships start tomorrow, with the conclusion of the tournament on May 20 with the gold medal game.

A new championship format is being introduced this year with 16 teams playing in two preliminary round groups with eight teams in each, using the IIHF World Ranking for seeding. The top four teams in each preliminary round group will advance to the quarterfinals. The teams that finish last in each group will be relegated to Division I. Teams placed 5-8 will have no more games. Quarterfinals will be played on May 17 within the groups, meaning the teams will not need to travel from one country to the other to play the quarterfinal game.

The crossover system will be implemented in the semifinals, which will be played in Helsinki on May 19 (Winner 1H-4H vs. Winner 2S-3S, Winner 1S-4S vs. Winner 2H-3H). Medal games will be played in Helsinki as well. The two top teams will have to play 10 games to reach the final on May 20.

Preliminary Round Groups

Group H (Helsinki)

Group S (Stockholm)


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United States Sweden

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