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World Championship Day 3

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On day two of the IIHF World Championships three games featuring Leaf players took place.  Belarus defeated Kazakhstan 5-2, Russia defeated Slovakia 3-1, and Sweden defeated Norway 5-2.  Leafs featured on the score sheet in all three games so let's check out how they did shall we?

Belarus: In the 5-2 win for Belarus over Kazakhstan, Mikhail Stefanovich scored the game tying goal that made it 2-2, as Belarus pushed on for a come from behind victory after falling behind 2-0 early.  Stefanovich's goal came on his only shot on net, and he skated for 13:02 over the course of the game. 

Mikhail Grabovski recorded an assist on the opening goal for the Belarussians, as well as a 2 minute tripping penalty.  Grabovski also led all forwards in ice time for the game with 22:04 in total.  In fact, the only skater to surpass Grabovski's ice time in the game was the captain of his team, Ruslan Salei, who played 24:02.  Grabovski was elected the top player of the game for Belarus, and as mentioned previously, will need to be the best player on the ice more often than not if Belarus wants to go anywhere in this tournament.

Russia: The Russian team skated to a workmanlike 3-1 victory over the Slovaks.  Nikolai Kulemin registered an assist on the opening goal of the game, scored by Maxim Afinogenov.  He was skating on a line with Afinogenov and Viktor Kozlov, having skated with the latter and Sergei Fedorov at the recently completed LG Hockey Games.

Kulemin was also obviously counted upon in the 3rd period as his ice time increased during each successive period.  His 13:55 in total ice time put him ahead of Kozlov, and team captain Ilya Kovalchuk amongst others. The Slovaks did apply some pressure later on in the game, but Russia held strong, icing it with an empty netter to seal the victory.

Sweden: The Swedes defeated a relatively weak Norwegian side 5-2 going away in their opening game.  They also outshot them 44-21 in the game, so this wasn't exactly an even contest.  Leafs goaltender Jonas Gustavsson got the start in goal, and made 19 saves over the course of the match up for an easy win.

Carl Gunnarsson lined up in the 3rd D pairing for the Swedes and played a reasonably responsible 17:13, and registered 4 shots on goal over the course of the game, tying him with Oliver Ekman-Larsson for the lead amongst blue liners with the Tre Kronor.

Despite the fact that he's a UFA following this past NHL season, I'm still going to track the play of Rickard Wallin, and he had a very solid game along with scoring stars of the game Mattias Weinhandl and Magnus Pääjärvi Svensson.  Skating as an Alternate Captain, Wallin registered 2 assists and 2 shots on goal to go along with a +1 rating in 16:46 of ice time.  Weinhandl scored a hat trick on 5 shots to go with a +3 rating in 12:20 of ice time, while MPS managed to score a goal and add 2 assists to go with his 6 shots and +3 rating in only 11:01 of ice time.

Christian Hanson, Korbinian Holzer, and Francois Beauchemin are all playing in games on Monday as the US, Germany, and Canada continue their tournament schedules against Denmark, Finland, and Latvia respectively.