Of the eight teams who qualified for the Quarterfinals at the 2018 International Ice Hockey Federation World Championship, five former Rochester Americans will represent four countries as they begin the elimination-round.
The Quarterfinals begin today as the Russians take on Canada while the United States host Czech Republic at 10:15 a.m. Sweden and Latvia, who was the last team to qualify for the final eight, follow the Russia-Canada contest while Finland and Switzerland are set to follow the Americans and Czechs at 2:15 p.m.
Forward Michal Repik, who was a member of the Amerks for all of Rochester’s three-year affiliation with the Florida Panthers from 2008-11, helped the Czechs to 3-3-0-1 (W-OTW-OTL-L) record in seven games through the preliminary round.
Repik ranks fourth on the team in goals (3) and is tied for the tournament-lead with 20 shots in seven contests.
The Czechs have not won a World Championship medal since 2012 a span of six years. They have competed in the tournament since the first edition in 1930 as but this is their longest drought ever.
Former Amerk Johan Larsson returned to international stage for the first time since 2012 for Sweden, who is looking to defend its gold medal.
Sweden outscored its opponents 31-9 while finishing the preliminary round with a 6-1-0-0 record.
Larsson had one assist in seven games and he will look to help Sweden to back-to-back goal medals for the first time since 1991 and 1992.
Winners of the 2014 tournament and the last two bronze medals, Russia looks to build off its 5-0-1-1 record into the Quarterfinals.
Amerks alumni Evgenii Dadonov and Mikhail Grigorenko each appeared in all seven games while tallying six points (2+4) and five points (4+1), respectively.
Dadonov, who is serving as an assistant captain, is tied for second on the team with four assists, while Grigorenko’s four goals ranked second-best among Russian forwards.
The United States is aiming to earn its first medal in three years and fourth in the last 21 years,. The Americans finished second in Group A after winning six of seven games to begin the tournament.
Former Amerk Dan Bylsma, who is as assistant coach, is hoping to help the U.S. claim its first gold since winning the tournament in 1960 and erase an 85-year-old drought.