Roussel, France Head to Quarterfinals at World Championship

Tuesday, 05.20.2014 / 3:54 PM CT / Inside Edge
By Mark Stepneski
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Roussel, France Head to Quarterfinals at World Championship

Stars forward Antoine Roussel and France are putting together a nice run at the 2014 World Championship, securing the country’s first berth in the quarterfinals at the tournament since 1995.

“We are a team of character that recovers after every difficult moment. Everyone worked hard and contributed,” Roussel told French media. “We have been close to qualifying the last two years. This year, it's really cool to make it at last and be part of that group.”

France, which wrapped up preliminary round play with a 5-4 overtime loss to Czech Republic on Tuesday, has a big challenge ahead in the playoff round, taking on unbeaten Russia in the quarterfinals on Thursday.

France won four of seven games in the preliminary round, finishing in the fourth and final playoff spot in Group A. There were big victories over Canada, Slovakia, Norway and Denmark.

Roussel, who leads France in scoring, came up big down the stretch in preliminary play. He had two goals and one assist and was named France’s best player in a key 5-4 win over Norway on Saturday. He had one goal, three assists and a plus-five rating in a 6-2 victory over Denmark on Monday that clinched France’s spot in the playoff round.

“It’s great for our country,” Roussel told the IIHF site after the win over Denmark. “People may watch it and say, ‘Oh, my kid might play hockey now, instead of playing soccer.’ I hope this win is going to do a lot for us to get more rinks and more respectability in the sports ranking in France. Hopefully it’s going to grow.”

Roussel tallied a goal Tuesday, giving him 11 points (6 goals, 5 assists) in 7 games at the tournament, which is being held in Belarus. He is currently tied for second at the tournament in points and he is tied for second in goals as well. His plus-seven rating is tied for sixth.

USA, Thomas to face Czechs in quarterfinals

Stars goaltender Tim Thomas and Team USA will take on Czech Republic in Thursday’s quarterfinal round. The USA won five of seven games and finished second in Group B.

Thomas ended preliminary play with a 5-2 record, 3.38 goals against average and .868 save percentage.

Thursday’s quarterfinals games

Russia vs. France
Sweden vs. Belarus
USA vs. Czech Republic
Canada vs. Finland

This story was not subject to the approval of the National Hockey League or Dallas Stars Hockey Club. Mark Stepneski is an independent writer whose posts on DallasStars.com reflect his own opinions and do not represent official statements from the Dallas Stars. You can follow Mark on Twitter @StarsInsideEdge.

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STANDINGS

WESTERN CONFERENCE
  TEAM GP W L OT GF GA PTS
1 CHI 56 36 16 4 158 128 76
2 DAL 53 33 15 5 170 142 71
3 STL 55 30 17 8 132 129 68
4 LAK 51 31 17 3 135 117 65
5 SJS 51 27 20 4 147 138 58
6 NSH 53 25 20 8 136 139 58
7 COL 55 27 24 4 148 152 58
8 ANA 51 25 19 7 113 121 57
9 MIN 52 23 20 9 127 126 55
10 ARI 52 24 22 6 138 161 54
11 VAN 52 20 20 12 120 142 52
12 CGY 51 23 25 3 134 148 49
13 WPG 52 23 26 3 136 150 49
14 EDM 54 21 28 5 132 164 47

STATS

2015-2016 REGULAR SEASON
SKATERS: GP G A +/- Pts
J. Benn 53 28 31 15 59
T. Seguin 53 28 28 10 56
J. Klingberg 53 8 35 14 43
J. Spezza 52 18 22 5 40
P. Sharp 53 16 24 -1 40
C. Eakin 53 10 13 1 23
A. Goligoski 53 3 20 17 23
M. Janmark 53 10 9 13 19
A. Roussel 51 8 10 5 18
V. Nichushkin 50 6 12 7 18
 
GOALIES: W L OT Sv% GAA
A. Niemi 20 10 5 .908 2.52
K. Lehtonen 13 5 0 .907 2.82
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