One Rochester Americans alumnus is taking home hardware as the 2017 International Ice Hockey Federation World Championship came to a close on Sunday afternoon in Cologne, Germany. The annual event concluded with a thrilling 2-1 shootout win by Team Sweden over Canada in the gold medal game Sunday afternoon. It marked the first time the gold medal game of the tournament had gone to a shootout since 1994.
RUSSIA (5), FINLAND (3) - BRONZE MEDAL GAME
After finishing the preliminary round second in Group A, Team Russia concluded the 81st annual tournament with a 5-3 victory in the bronze medal game over Finland. The Russians, who have dominated the international competition over the last 13 years, earned its 10th medal over that span, and have medaled in each of the last five years.
Former Amerk Evgenii Dadonov took home his fourth straight medal in as many years after earning gold in 2014, silver in 2015 and bronze in last year’s event. Of Russia’s 10 games played this year, the Chelyabinsk, Russia, native notched the game-winning goal in two of those contests, finishing second on the team. Overall in the tournament, the former Amerk notched eight points (3+5) to finish fifth among Russians. In 40 career games on the international stage, the 28-year-old has amassed 34 points (13+21) while only serving eight penalty minutes.
Former Amerk forward Michal Repik and Team Czech Republic failed to qualify for a medal after they concluded their play in the quarterfinal with a 3-0 loss to Team Russia Thursday afternoon. It is the first time in the country’s history they have gone five straight years without a medal since 1993 in it’s first-ever appearance in the annual tournament. Repik, who was a member of the Amerks from 2008-11, had three goals, which tied for the team-lead and a pair of helpers in eight games. In addition to five points, the 28-year-old had 17 shots and a plus/minus rating of plus-three.
While the United States roster had no direct ties to Rochester, the United States’ roster featured Buffalo Sabres second-year superstar Jack Eichel and highly touted goaltending prospect Cal Petersen, the Sabres’ fifth-round pick (129th overall) in the 2013 NHL Entry Draft, who recently completed his junior season at the University of Notre Dame.
After finishing the preliminary round atop Group A, the United States was shutout by Team Finland in the quarterfinals last Thursday.
Despite the loss, Eichel, Buffalo’s first-round selection (second overall) in 2015, made his second appearance in three years for the American squad that hasn’t won gold at the annual event since 1960 and has medaled just four times – all bronze – in the last 21 years. In eight games, Eichel registered 34 shots on net, leading all Americans and ranking second overall. He was goalless in eight games but notched five assists, which finished for second among Americans.
Petersen, 22, did not appear in any contests this spring and served as a back-up role behind NHL veterans Jimmy Howard of the Detroit Red Wings and Connor Hellebuyck of the Winnipeg Jets.
LOOKING AHEAD TO NEXT YEAR
The 2018 IIHF World Championship will be hosted in Copenhagen, Denmark, and will take place from May 4 through May 20, 2018. The 82nd annual IIHF games will mark the first for Denmark as they are the only top-ranked IIHF nation that has never hosted the tournament.
Copenhagen, the capital of Denmark, will be the main venue with the town of Herning as second venue.