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Quick Strikes: Vasilevskiy helps Russia defeat Sweden in shootout

The USA Hockey Women’s National Team is taking up residence in Tampa, Syracuse defeats Toronto, and IIHF World Championship highlights.

Russian Ice Hockey Federation

The Bolts

Amalie Arena is usually home to the Tampa Bay Lightning, but last night it hosted USA Hockey as they announced the 23 players named to the 2017-18 U.S. Women's National Team. Among the players named to the team is two-time Olympic Silver Medalist and seven-time World Champion Hilary Knight. She and several other women from the national team played ball hockey with some aspiring young athletes.

The team will take residence in Tampa starting in September as they prepare for the 2018 Olympics. “To have this kind of spotlight on us, this is big for us,” said Jay Feaster, the Lightning executive director for community hockey development. “The timing couldn't be better, just the girls to see, 'Wow, there's a women's national team and, wow, I can play.” [Tampa Bay Times]

The Prospects

The Syracuse Crunch defeated the Toronto Marlies 3-1 in the first game of Round 2 of the AHL playoffs. Erik Condra, Byron Froese, and Yanni Gourde scored for Syracuse while Mike McKenna stopped 24 of 25 shots (0.96 SV%) to secure the victory. [Raw Charge]

Mathieu Joseph (#21 in blue) picked up a goal and two assists as the Saint John Sea Dogs defeated the Blainville-Boisbriand Armada in Game 1 of the QMJHL Championship (President Cup). Bokondji Imama (#51) was held off the score sheet.

The Worlds

With ten members of the Tampa Bay Lightning participating across four teams at the IIHF World Championship, we'll be keeping a close eye on Canada (Jon Cooper, Alex Killorn, and Brayden Point), Russia (Nikita Kucherov, Vladislav Namestnikov, Andrei Vasilevskiy, and prospect Nikita Gusev), Sweden (Victor Hedman and Anton Stralman), and Switzerland (Tanner Richard).

Russian defeats Sweden 2-1 in the shootout.

Vasilevskiy was phenomenal in net for Russia, stopping 22 of 23 shots (0.956 SV%). Kucherov took three shots on goal and missed a wide-open net in overtime. Namestnikov didn’t make any shot attempts.

Sweden leaned heavily on the Hedman-Stralman pairing, with both players receiving over 25 minutes of ice time. Hedman assisted on Sweden’s only goal.

Canada defeats the Czech Republic 4-1.

Neither Point nor Killorn found the score sheet. Point took two shots on goal; Killorn had none.

Jon Cooper is enjoying the atmosphere in Paris. “The Czech fans-it was really fun to be a part of. The chants and the cheers, it's a really really cool environment. A tribute to the fans and the fans of Paris that came out. It was a fun environment for two countries that aren't France. I'm really excited to go through the rest of this.” [TSN]

More amazing photos courtesy of the Russian Ice Hockey Federation.

Three members of the Lightning will be playing today as Hedman and Stralman look to help Sweden defeat Germany and Richard will play for Switzerland against Slovenia.

The Game

The Las Vegas Golden Knights just signed a KHL superstar to be their first-line center. “When George McPhee landed KHL standout Vadim Shipachyov as the second-ever Vegas Golden Knights player this week, his primary motivation was to bring in the kind of highly skilled center that would difficult to find in the expansion draft and to lure in NHL free agency. ‘They are very, very hard to find. There were other NHL teams involved. We made our pitch,’ he said on Friday, one day after inking the SKA Saint Petersburg center to a two-year contract worth an average annual salary of $4.5 million.” [Puck Daddy]

The Carolina Hurricanes signed goalie Scott Darling to a four-year, $16.6 million contract. “The contract is a significant increase on Darling’s $575,000 salary this past season, and is more than a million dollars higher than the salaries next season for Cam Ward ($3.1 million) and Eddie Lack ($3 million), indicating that the Canes have every intention of making Darling their new starter and parting ways with one of their other two goaltenders.” [Canes Country]

Radko Gudas punched his Flyers teammate Glaude Giroux in the face at the Worlds. This seems like a bad idea.