The preliminary round of the 2022 IIHF World Championship has come to a close.
Each of the 17 competing teams at the 2022 Worlds played seven games in the round-robin tournament. The top four teams from Group A and Group B qualified for the quarterfinals.
Teams Denmark, France, Kazakhstan, Italy, Latvia, Austria, Norway, and Great Britain have all been eliminated from competition at the 2022 Worlds.
While no current members of the Detroit Red Wings play for any of the eliminated teams, ex-Wing and Danish hockey legend Frans Nielsen said goodbye to the sport after his team lost 7–1 to Team Slovakia on Tuesday.
Six Red Wings players remain in contention at the 2022 Worlds. Not among them: Alex Nedeljkovic (United States) and Elmer Soderblom (Sweden), who prematurely departed their respective national teams in recent weeks.
The following Red Wings players are still vying to win the 2022 IIHF World Championship (preliminary round statistics in parentheses):
- Moritz Seider, GER (one goal, five points)
- Magnus Hellberg, SWE (4–0–0, .932 save percentage)
- Pius Suter, SUI (three goals, eight points)
- Jakub Vrana, CZE (one goal, one point)
- Filip Hronek, CZE (zero goals, zero points)
- Riley Barber, USA (one goal, one point)
Suter has helped Team Switzerland become one of the biggest surprises of the tournament.
Playing on a stacked Swiss side that also includes NHLers Nico Hischier, Timo Meier, Janis Moser, and Jonas Siegenthaler, the 26-year-old center ranks behind only Jonas Siegenthaler in team scoring.
— Hockey News Hub (@HockeyNewsHub) May 24, 2022
Team Switzerland dispatched Italy, Denmark, Kazakhstan, Slovakia, Canada, and France in regulation to kick off the preliminary round before taking Team Germany to a shootout in the final game before the elimination stage.
Suter shot and missed in the shootout. Moritz Seider was not selected to shoot for Team Germany. In the end, Team Switzerland prevailed to preserve its undefeated record in the preliminary round.
The Germans finished one spot below Team Switzerland in Group A. Seider finished one point off the team lead, with forward Marc Michaelis and defenseman Kai Wissmann tying for the top spot with seven points in seven games.
Seider scored his first goal of the tournament late in the first period of the aforementioned shootout thrilled against Switzerland.
— IIHF (@IIHFHockey) May 24, 2022
Much has been made on this site about Hellberg’s tremendous performance for Team Sweden at the 2022 Worlds, but let’s take another look.
The 31-year-old netminder started four of the team’s seven games in the preliminary round and won them all, posting a .932 save percentage along the way.
Even after Boston Bruins goaltender Linus Ullmark arrived for the Swedes, Hellberg started for the team in its 7–1 win over Team Norway on May 22. Two days later, Ullmark posted a 21-save shutout as Sweden defeated Team Latvia 1–0.
Team Sweden will face Team Canada in a quarterfinal matchup on May 26. While Hellberg has been spectacular for the Swedes in the preliminary round, expect Ullmark to get the nod on Thursday.
Here’s the full list of quarterfinal matchups at the 2022 Worlds:
- Germany vs. Czechia (9:20 a.m. ET, May 26)
- Sweden vs. Canada (9:20 a.m. ET, May 26)
- Switzerland vs. United States (1:20 p.m. ET, May 26)
- Finland vs. Slovakia (1:20 p.m. ET, May 26)
- Giving out awards to the 2021–22 Red Wings MVP, LVP, and top rookie
- Cossa making just enough saves as Oil Kings progessing in WHL playoffs
- Magnus Hellberg has earned another contract with the Red Wings
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