05/05/2016 12:42 PM
Article By: Nate Haeni
Rockford, Ill. – When the 2016 International Ice Hockey Federation (IIHF) Ice Hockey World Championship kicks off on Friday from Moscow and St. Petersburg, Russia, it will feature eight players and one coach with ties to the Rockford IceHogs of the American Hockey League.
Vince Hinostroza and Tyler Motte represent a young USA squad that begins pool play against its rivals and defending champions, Canada, on Friday. The U.S. team is one of 16 teams divided into two, eight-team pools. The top four teams from each pool advance to the quarterfinal round before the semifinals and medal rounds, which will take place at the Ice Palace in Moscow on May 21-22.
A trio of defenseman that spent time in Rockford in 2015-16 will also be competing in the tournament - Kirill Gotovets (Belarus), Erik Gustafsson (Sweden) and Ville Pokka (Finland).
Former IceHogs Head Coach Bill Peters (2008-11) is the bench boss for the Canadian Team that went undefeated at the 2015 tournament en route to a gold medal. Peters served as an assistant coach for that 2015 World Championship team and has also been named an assistant coach for Canada at the upcoming World Cup in September.
The tournament also features three former IceHogs in Daryl Boyle (Germany), Marko Dano (Slovakia), and Mathis Olimb (Norway). Boyle (2009-10) and Olimb (2010-11) each spent one season in Rockford before heading overseas to continue their playing careers. Dano split time between Rockford and the Chicago Blackhawks this past season before being part of a trade that saw the Blackhawks acquire Andrew Ladd, Jay Harrison and Matt Fraser last February.
For more information on the World Championship or a complete schedule of games, visit www.iihfworlds2016.com.