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Smith, USA Beat Finland, Finish Preliminary Round Undefeated

Monday, 12.31.2007 / 4:01 PM / News
By Jay Levin  - Nashville Predators
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Smith, USA Beat Finland, Finish Preliminary Round Undefeated

Colin Wilson scored four points, including a natural hat trick, and Predators goaltending prospect Jeremy Smith made 15 saves to lead Team USA to 5-3 win over Team Finland on Monday in the final game of the Preliminary Round. Smith backstopped the US to a 5-0 lead through two periods of play before turning over the crease to backup Joe Palmer for the third period.

The Americans finished first in Group B with a 4-0 record, all wins by Smith, and earned a bye into the Semifinals on January 4. Team USA will face the winner of the Canada/Finland Semifinals to be played on January 2. (For more coverage from Czech Republic, read Blake Geoffrion’s contributions in Blake's Blog.)

Wilson opened the scoring with an even strength goal 9:29 into the game. James van Riemsdyk and Jordan Schroeder assisted on the goal. Wilson extended the lead to 2-0 just 3:51 later on a power-play goal. Predators prospect Jonathon Blum picked up his first points on the tournament with an assist on the goal. Van Riemsdyk had the other assist.

The US scored three even strength goals in the first 9:14 of the second period to seal the victory. Wilson closed out his hat trick 1:43 into the second period, his sixth goal of the tournament. Tyler Ruegsegger netted his second of the tournament 3:01 later and van Riemsdyk finished the US scoring at the 9:14 mark. The line of Schroeder, van Riemsdyk, and Wilson combined for four goals and six assists on the game.

After Smith left the game, Finland scored three goals in the final 9:08 of regulation, including a pair of power-play goals and an even strength tally with 0:46 left to play.

 
Team USA Schedule and Results
Preliminary Round Games   Group B
Dec. 26
vs. Kazakhstan

W, 5-1 (recap)

Dec. 28
vs. Switzerland
W, 4-2 (recap)
Dec. 29
vs. Russia
W, 3-2 (recap)
Dec. 31
vs. Finland
W, 5-3 (recap)
Medal Round
 
Jan. 2
Quarterfinals*
n/a
(earned bye to semifinals)
Jan. 4
Semifinals*
TBD
(face winner of Canada/Finland)
Jan. 5
Championship Game*
TBD


* game times and opponents to be determined based on qualifying results from round-robin pool play.

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