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Wed, Apr 25th - 4:19AM

2012 IIHF Ice Hockey World Championship

This year's IIHF World Championship will take place May 4-20 in Helsinki, Finland and Stockholm, Sweden. 16 teams will play in a new format. The teams will be divided into 2 groups of 8 based on the IIHF World Ranking. One group will play each other in Finland and the other group will play each other in Finland. The top four teams in each group will advance to the quarterfinals. The semi-finals and medal games will be played in Helsinki.

Finland Group:
Finland, Canada, USA, Switzerland, Slovakia, Belarus, France, Kazakhstan.

Sweden Group:
Russia, Sweden, Czech Republic, Germany, Norway, Latvia, Denmark, Italy.

May 20th, 2012 update

Russia became 2012 World Champion by defeating Slovakia 62 in the final. Russia were undefeated in the tournament winning 10 straight games. The Czech Republic captured the bronze medal by beating Finland 32 in the bronze medal game. The tournament's top scorer, Russia's Evgeni Malkin, was named the most valuable player of the tournament.

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Thu, Apr 19th - 4:33AM

USA Hockey

USA Hockey is the governing body for amateur ice hockey in the United States. Founded in 1920, the organization is based in Colorado Springs, Colorado, and has nearly 600,000 registered members.

USA Hockey has junior and adult hockey programs that provide opportunities for players of all ability levels and has certification programs for coaches and officials. In addition, the organization supports a disabled hockey program and maintains an inline hockey program.

USA Hockey also operates the National Team Development Program, based out of Ann Arbor, Michigan, and composing of a select group of players that have tried out and been selected as the most talented in the nation. The NTDP consists of two teams; the U.S. National Under-18 Team, and the U.S. National Under-17 Team. The teams compete in the United States Hockey League in addition to playing NCAA colleges and in International competition.

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Fri, Apr 13th - 5:01AM

Steven Stamkos

Steven Stamkos is one of the games most prolific and dangerous goal scorers. He was selected first overall in the 2008 NHL Entry Draft by the Tampa Bay Lightning. This season, Stamkos won the Rocket Richard Trophy for the second time. The award is given to the player with the most goals in the regular season.

Still only 21, Stamkos is in his 4th NHL season. In July, he signed a 5-year $37.5 million contract extension with the Tampa Bay Lightning that will count as a $7.5 million cap hit each season toward the salary cap. His salary puts him at the same level as Dany Heatley, Joe Thornton and Jason Spezza but lower than Sidney Crosby and Evgeni Malkin who earn $8.7 million against the salary cap each year, while Alexander Ovechkin earns well over $9 million per year.

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Sat, Apr 7th - 3:58AM

Ice Hockey Skates

Ice hockey skates are well padded with hard, molded plastic built in to protect the heel, arches, and toes. The lightweight metal blades are about 2 in (5 cm) in height.

Ice hockey skates differ from figure skates and speed skates mostly in their blades. Rounded at both ends, the blades do not extend past the toe or heel, as speed skate blades do. The fronts of the blades do not have teeth, which figure skaters use to dig into the ice to execute leaps.

The two main hockey equipment manufacturers are CCM, owned by Reebok, and Bauer, formerly owned by Nike but now an independent company. CCM is the official supplier of hockey equipment for the NHL while Bauer supplies many individual NHL hockey players.

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Tue, Apr 3rd - 11:16AM

NHL Player of the Month

Philadelphia Flyers goalie Ilya Bryzgalov missed the end of the month due to injury, but his outstanding play when healthy earned him recognition as the NHL's First Star in March. In 13 games last month, Bryzgalov claimed four shutouts, scored a 94.7 save percentage and led his team to 10 victories. His three straight shutouts in mid-March tied a club record, and he set the club mark for the longest shutout streak with a run of 249 minutes and 43 seconds.

Bryzgalov is 31-years-old, born in Togliatti, Russia. He previously played for the Phoenix Coyotes and Anaheim Ducks. In the 200910 NHL season, he was runner-up for the Vezina Trophy and a top 5 finalist for the Hart Trophy. In June 2011, he became an unrestricted free agent and the Flyers signed him to a nine-year, $51 million contract.

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