These Detroit Red Wings made it to semifinals at World Championship

Detroit Free Press

Two Detroit Red Wings and their former coach have a chance for a medal at the World Championship.

Defenseman Filip Hronek had an assist to help Czechia to a 4-1 victory over Germany in one of four quarterfinals Thursday. That sets up a date in a Saturday semifinal opposite Finland, which took down Slovakia, 4-2.

Former Wings coach Jeff Blashill is an assistant coach with the U.S., which shut out Switzerland, 3-0, and will meet Canada in Saturday’s other semi. Canada rallied from a three-goal deficit to defeat Sweden, 4-3, in overtime.

Saturday’s winners advance to Sunday’s gold-medal game, and the losers battle for bronze, also on Sunday.

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The victories by Czechia and the U.S. bounced a couple Wings who had delivered big performances at the tournament in Finland. Defenseman Moritz Seider scored Germany’s sole goal, giving him two goals and five assists in eight games. Seider had five assists in 10 games at the 2021 tournament. He posted 50 points in his first season with the Wings and is a finalist for the Calder Trophy.

Forward Pius Suter had three goals and five assists for Switzerland. The 26-year-old is coming off his first season with the Wings and second in the NHL, posting 15 goals and 21 assists.

Wings rookie Lucas Raymond turned down an invitation to play for Sweden, citing the grind of his 82-game NHL season. That left goaltender Magnus Hellberg as the sole Swede with ties to the Wings — he spent the last two weeks of the season with them, and played in the season finale. Hellberg’s aim is to gain a contract for next season, though the 31-year-old has only five NHL games to his credit.

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Hronek assisted on Czechia’s second goal to earn his first point of the tournament. Jakub Vrana, who posted 13 goals in 26 games with the Wings, has one goal in eight games for the Czechs.

There aren’t any current Wings among the Finns, but there’s a former one worth rooting for: Valtteri Filppula, who helped the Wings win the Stanley Cup in 2008. He captained Finland to the gold medal at the 2022 Olympics in February, giving him two of the three jewels required for membership in the triple-gold club. Winning Saturday and Sunday would complete the feat.

Contact Helene St. James at hstjames@freepress.com. Follow her on Twitter @helenestjames. Read more on the Detroit Red Wings and sign up for our Red Wings newsletter. Her book, The Big 50: The Detroit Red Wings is available from AmazonBarnes & Noble and Triumph Books. Personalized copies available via her e-mail. 

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