Rochester Americans forward Zemgus Girgensons made his 2013 IIHF World Championships debut today as Latvia faced Team USA. Christian Ehrhoff and Thomas Vanek were also in action for their respective national teams.
Girgensons was initially not expected to make his debut until Latvia’s meeting with Austria on May 7, thanks to the recent ending of the Rochester Americans season, locker clean-out and final team meetings. However, he made it to Finland and was cleared in time to be put on the roster for Sunday’s meeting with the American squad.
The highest-ever drafted Latvian player, Girgensons had one shot and won fifty percent of his faceoffs as his national team suffered a 4-1 loss to the undefeated USA team. Girgensons had 16:44 of ice time and went 6-6 on faceoffs during his first game of the 2013 IIHF World Championships.
Latvia is still searching for its first win of the tournament after dropping a 6-0 decision to Russia on Saturday. Next up will be a match against Austria on May 7.
Buffalo Sabres forward Thomas Vanek had the lone goal – his first of the tournament – as Austria suffered an early-morning 3-1 loss to France. Vanek led his team with seven shots, accounting for 19 percent of Austria’s shots in the game. He played 21:49 of ice time.
Austria is now 0-2 in this year’s tournament and will look for their first win as they face Latvia on May 7.
Another team still searching for its first win is the German squad with captain Christian Ehrhoff. The Sabres defenseman was named Germany’s best player as the team dropped a 4-1 decision to Russia.
Ehrhoff assisted on Germany’s lone goal, scored by John Tripp, and had four shots in a team-leading 33:06 ice time. He ended the game a minus-2 but led Germany in shots, ice time and shifts.
Ehrhoff will face fellow Buffalo Sabres defenseman Andrej Sekera when Germany returns to action on May 6 with a game against Slovakia.