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Roussel, France Head to Quarterfinals at World Championship

Tuesday, 05.20.2014 / 4:54 PM / 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\u2019s first berth in the quarterfinals at the tournament since 1995.

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 ANA 35 22 8 5 101 96 49
2 CHI 34 23 9 2 106 67 48
3 STL 33 21 9 3 100 81 45
4 NSH 31 21 8 2 87 64 44
5 SJS 34 19 11 4 97 87 42
6 WPG 34 17 10 7 83 80 41
7 VAN 32 19 11 2 92 90 40
8 LAK 34 17 11 6 94 84 40
9 CGY 35 17 15 3 100 95 37
10 MIN 31 16 12 3 91 84 35
11 DAL 32 14 13 5 95 109 33
12 COL 33 12 13 8 85 101 32
13 ARI 32 11 17 4 74 104 26
14 EDM 34 7 20 7 74 116 21

STATS

2014-2015 REGULAR SEASON
SKATERS: GP G A +/- Pts
T. Seguin 32 25 17 8 42
J. Benn 32 10 20 1 30
J. Spezza 32 6 19 -10 25
T. Daley 32 7 9 -12 16
A. Roussel 32 7 9 -3 16
A. Goligoski 32 1 14 2 15
C. Eakin 29 6 7 2 13
S. Horcoff 32 5 7 1 12
E. Cole 31 6 5 -5 11
R. Garbutt 24 5 5 -6 10
 
GOALIES: W L OT Sv% GAA
K. Lehtonen 13 7 5 .904 2.99
A. Lindback 1 5 0 .864 4.29
 
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