The 2021 IIHF Men’s World Championships kick off this morning with four games on the slate for this Friday. All games are being held at two venues in Riga, Latvia. Five Buffalo Sabres players, plus one prospect, are participating in the tournament. Lawrence Pilut, whose rights technically still belong to the Sabres, is also participating.
As the tournament goes on, we’ll keep you updated here at Die By the Blade with scores and more. If you’re interested in catching some of the action live, many (though not all) of the games are being televised on NHL Network in the United States.
Here’s the schedule for Friday, May 21:
9 a.m. Russia vs. Czech Republic (Live on NHLN)
Players of Interest: Nikita Zadorov (Chicago), Mikhail Grigorenko (Columbus), Libor Hasek (New York Rangers), Filip Zadina (Detroit), Jakub Vrana (Detroit)
Fun Fact: Former Buffalo Sabres defenseman Jaroslav Špaček will serve as an assistant coach for the Czech Republic.
9 a.m. Germany vs. Italy
Players of Interest: Tobias Rieder (Buffalo), J.J. Peterka (Buffalo), Lukas Reichel (2020 Chicago draft pick)
1 p.m. Belarus vs. Slovakia
Players of Interest: Yegor Sharangovich (New Jersey), Sergei Kostitsyn (former NHLer), Shane Prince (Rochester native, formerly of the Islanders & Senators), Adam Huska (NYR prospect), Marian Studenic (New Jersey)
Fun Fact: Slovakia’s head coach for this tournament is none other than Craig Ramsay, who of course played with the Sabres from 1972-1985. Miroslav Šatan is their general manager.
1 p.m. Canada vs. Latvia (Live on NHLN)
Players of Interest: Colin Miller (Buffalo), Owen Power (University of Michigan), Michael DiPietro (Vancouver), Kaspars Daugavins (former NHLer), Janis Jaks (Bakersfield Condors, formerly of AIC Yellow Jackets DI hockey)