PRINCETON, N.J. – The ECHL is represented by 31 players in the 2007 International Ice Hockey Federation World Championship in Moscow. The final four teams in the tournament, which began on Apr. 28, are Canada, Finland, Russia and Sweden and the bronze medal and gold medal games are scheduled for Sunday.
It is the fifth consecutive year that there have been at least 30 former ECHL players competing in the IIHF World Championship. There were 35 former ECHL players in 2003, 33 in 2006 and 30 in 2004 and 2005. The ECHL was represented by 25 former players at the Olympic Winter Games in Turin, Italy and former ECHL coach Peter Laviolette was head coach of the United States team at both the 2005 World Championship and the 2006 Olympic Games.
There was a former ECHL player on 12 of the 16 teams led by Latvia with eight players and Austria and Italy with four players each. Switzerland and Ukraine both have three former ECHL players while Germany and the United States each had two players and Belarus, Denmark, Finland, Norway and Slovakia all had one.
Six of the former ECHL players are making their third consecutive appearance in the World Championship while eight others have played each of the past two years. Making their third appearance are David Aebischer and Mark Streit with Switzerland, Peter Hirsch with Denmark, Andrei Mezin with Belarus, Agris Saviels and Herbert Vasilijevs with Latvia. Competing for the second year in a row are Morten Ask with Norway, Jason Cirone and John Parco with Italy, Igor Karpenko with Ukraine, Sergei Naumov, Arvid Rekis and Atvars Tribuncovs with Latvia and Raffaele Sannitz of Switzerland.
ECHL Players in 2007 IIHF World Championship
Austria – Gregor Baumgartner (Pensacola, 2002-03), Andre Lakos (Augusta, 2002-03), Philippe Lakos (Jacksonville, 1999-2000; Toledo, 2000-01; Florida and Reading, 2001-02 and Augusta and Arkansas, 2002-03) and Jeremy Rebek (Toledo, 1997-99 and Mississippi 2001-02)
Belarus – Andrei Mezin (Roanoke, 1993-94)
Denmark – Peter Hirsch (Bakersfield, 2003-04)
Finland – Mika Wallinheimo (Mobile, 1996-97 and Mississippi, 1997-98)
Germany – Dmitri Patzold (Johnstown, 2003-04 and Fresno, 2006-07) and John Tripp (Roanoke, 1997-98; Johnstown, 1998-2000 and Pensacola, 2000-02)
Italy – Jason Cirone (Birmingham, 1993-94), Patrice Lefebvre (Louisville, 1990-91), John Parco (Hampton Roads, 1994-95 and 1999-2000) and Andre Signoretti (Charlotte, 2000-02)
Latvia – Armands Berzins (Louisiana, 2003-04, Wheeling, 2004-05), Rodrigo Lavinsh (Raleigh, 1994-95, Tallahassee, 1994-97), Arvid Rekis (Peoria, 2000-03), Sergei Naumov (Greensboro, 2000-01), Agris Saviels (Reading, 2002-03), Oleg Sorokin (Jacksonville and Roanoke, 1996-97), Atvars Tribuncovs (Tallahassee, 1999-2000) and Herbert Vasilijevs (Knoxville, 1996-97)
Norway – Morten Ask (Toledo, 2003-04 and Las Vegas, 2003-05)
Slovakia – Jaroslav Halak (Long Beach, 2005-06)
Switzerland – David Aebischer (Chesapeake and Wheeling 1997-98), Raffaele Sannitz (Dayton, 2004-05) and Mark Streit (Tallahassee, 1999-2000)
Ukraine – Igor Karpenko (Johnstown 1998-99), Alex Materukhin (Richmond, 2002-03; Louisiana, 2003-05 and Pensacola, 2004-05) and Andrei Sryubko (Toledo, 1996-98)
United States – Andrew Hutchinson (Toledo, 2002-03) and Chad LaRose (Florida, 2003-04)