Hornqvist Added To Team Sweden; Becomes 8th Preds Player At This Year's Tournament
Preds forward Patric Hornqvist was added to Team Sweden's roster today for the 2012 World Championships, currently underway in co-host countries Finland and Sweden. Hornqvist becomes the eighth Preds player/prospect at this year's tournament. Prospects Antti Pihlstrom (Finland) and Mattias Ekholm (Sweden) were initial participants for their respective countries; earlier this week they were joined by Martin Erat (Czech Republic), Roman Josi (Switzerland), Andrei & Sergei Kostitsyn (Belarus), and Craig Smith (USA).
Hornqvist led the Preds with 27 goals during the regular season, his third consecutive season topping the 20-goal mark. He also finished the season with 43 points and +9 plus/minus rating, adding one goal, four points and +1 rating during the team's playoff run.
Sweden is 4-0-0 (12pts) through its first four games of the tournament, out scoring opponents 18-8 with wins over Norway, Czech Republic, Denmark, and Germany. The Swedes close out Group Play with match-ups against Russia (Friday), Italy (Saturday), and Latvia (Tuesday). The top four teams from both groups move on to the single-elimination Quarterfinals on May 17.
Ekholm has yet to appear in the tournament for Sweden, but he did register an assist in Team Sweden's pre-tournament exhibition game against Team USA.
Other Teams of Note For Preds Fans:
Team USA beat Belarus 5-3 earlier today. The US improved to 3-1-0 (8pts) in the Helsinki Group, while Belarus is 1-3-0 (3pts). Both teams have three games remaining in Group play, with USA's next game tomorrow and Belarus's next game on Saturday. Andrei and Sergei Kostitsyn are projected to be in the lineup for Belarus for Saturday's game.
Czech Republic beat Latvia 3-1 earlier today to move to 3-1-0 (8pts) in the Stockholm Group. The Czechs have three more games in Group play: Italy (Friday), Russia (Sunday), and Germany (Tuesday).
Switzerland had the day off today after opening the tournament with a 2-2-0 record (6pts) in the Helsinki Group, tied for fourth place in Group play. The Swiss close out Group play with games against France (Saturday), Slovakia (Sunday), and USA (Tuesday). Switzerland likely needs to beat France and one of Slovakia or the US in order to advance to the Quarterfinals.
Finland beat France 7-1 earlier today, though Pihlstrom was not in the lineup for the Finns after appearing in the team's first three games of the tournament. Finland is 4-0-0 through its first four games (12 points), good for the top spot in the Helsinki Group. The Finns close out Group play with games against Canada (Friday), USA (Sunday), and Kazakhstan (Tuesday).