Colorado Avalanche center Paul Stastny and the US Men’s Hockey Team are just getting warmed up at the 2012 International Ice Hockey Federation Men’s World Championship. Stastny logged a goal and two assists on Tuesday in Finland as the US Men dropped Switzerland 5-2 to close out preliminary play.
The United States lost just once in seven Group H games to open the tournament. This is the first time the US Men have kicked off an IIHF tournament with as many wins in the opening seven games since 1939. Two of those six victories came in overtime, including a hard-fought 5-4 triumph over Group H winner Canada on May 5th.
Next up for Stastny and the United States is a group play rematch against co-host Finland in the quarterfinals on Thursday. The US pounded Finland 5-0 on Sunday to vault ahead of the Fins in the Group H standings. Finland finished third ahead of Slovakia on the strength of a head-to-head tiebreaker.
Slovakia, the only team to defeat the United States so far in this tournament, will draw Canada in the quarterfinals. The winner of that game will face either Sweden or the Czech Republic in the semifinals, while the US-Finland winner will draw either Russia or Norway.
You can catch the US-Finland quarterfinal match this Thursday morning at 9:30MT on NBC Sports television. Surviving Finland would take the United States into the semifinal this Saturday.