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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 NSH 64 41 16 7 192 155 89
2 ANA 64 40 17 7 189 177 87
3 STL 63 40 18 5 197 159 85
4 CHI 63 37 21 5 183 150 79
5 WPG 64 32 20 12 179 172 76
6 VAN 62 36 23 3 180 167 75
7 MIN 62 33 22 7 176 161 73
8 CGY 62 33 25 4 175 160 70
9 LAK 62 29 21 12 166 162 70
10 SJS 63 30 25 8 175 181 68
11 COL 63 27 25 11 167 182 65
12 DAL 63 27 26 10 196 210 64
13 ARI 63 20 36 7 138 214 47
14 EDM 63 18 35 10 143 208 46

STATS

2014-2015 REGULAR SEASON
SKATERS: GP G A +/- Pts
J. Benn 63 23 37 -3 60
T. Seguin 55 29 30 0 59
J. Spezza 63 15 37 -5 52
E. Cole 57 18 15 4 33
T. Daley 60 16 17 -10 33
J. Klingberg 49 10 23 1 33
C. Eakin 60 14 14 -2 28
A. Hemsky 57 9 17 -9 26
A. Goligoski 63 2 24 1 26
A. Roussel 61 12 11 -11 23
 
GOALIES: W L OT Sv% GAA
K. Lehtonen 25 13 10 .905 2.97
J. Enroth 13 25 2 .900 3.30
 
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