Alums Face Off in World Quarterfinals
Matt Read (Bemidji State), Justin Schultz (Wisconsin), Jaden Schwartz (Colorado College) and Erik Gustafsson (Northern Michigan) will meet in the quarterfinal round of the IIHF World Championship, joining the 22 former college players on the United States in search of a gold medal.
Read, Schultz and Schwartz are skating for Canada, which finished second in the Stockholm group during the preliminary round. Gustafsson is playing for the host Swedes, whose 5-2-0 record put them third in the group. Those teams will face off Thursday in Stockholm, with the winner advancing to the semifinals.
All four players are all playing in their first World Championship.
Eight teams with NCAA players
In total, eight teams in the World Championship featured NCAA representation, with the U.S. and its 22 players leading the way. Austria (three), Canada (three) and France (two) all had multiple former college players, while Denmark, Germany, Latvia and Sweden each had one.
The full list of participants beyond the U.S. team shows the growing influence of college hockey on the world stage and is included below. That impressive representation comes despite a large group of former college players still participating in NHL or AHL playoffs. Sweden alone is missing former collegians Carl Hagelin, Douglas Murray, Gustav Nyquist and Viktor Stalberg as they chase the Stanley Cup.
In contention for gold
Read - the former Bemidji State All-American turned 20-goal scorer for the Philadelphia Flyers - has a goal and two assists through 7 GP for Canada. Schultz, who recently completed his rookie year in Edmonton after three years at Wisconsin, has led all Canadian defensemen in scoring with four points, all assists.
Schwartz was the latest addition to Team Canada, added to the roster on Wednesday following his first-round playoff loss with the St. Louis Blues. He was the captain of the 2012 Canadian National Junior Team.
Gustafsson has been a teammate of Read's for parts of the last two seasons in Philadelphia after he was twice named the CCHA's Best Offensive Defenseman at NMU. He has one assist and is +4 while playing on home soil for Sweden.
|College Players in the World Championship|
|Canada||Matt Read||Bemidji State|
|Canada||Jaden Schwartz||Colorado College|
|Denmark||Oliver Lauridsen||St. Cloud State|
|France||Laurent Meunier||UMass Lowell|
|France||Yorick Treille||UMass Lowell|
|Latvia||Ralfs Freibergs||Bowling Green|
|Sweden||Erik Gustafsson||Northern Michigan|