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2015 IIHF World Championship: Czech Him Out

The Arizona Coyotes' representatives at the World Championships continue play in the tournament's preliminary round.

Martin Rose/Getty Images

Martin Erat didn't have the most successful campaign in 2014-15, as the winger scored just 9 goals in 79 games for the Arizona Coyotes in what was a dismal season in Glendale.

However, the native of the Czech Republic is making the most of his time playing at the 2015 IIHF World Championship for the host nation.

Martin Erat

The Czech winger surprisingly managed to contribute no points in the host nation's opening 6-5 shootout loss, but did take a penalty that led to a Swedish power play goal in the first period.

His second time out—a 4-2 victory versus Latvia—was a far more productive affair. Erat assisted on the game-tying power play goal and the game-winning power play goal.

The Czechs would take on Canada in its next game, and Erat potted his first goal of the tournament in the 6-3 loss to continue his stride of success.

Erat did not record a point in his team's 5-1 win over France on Thursday, or in the Czechs' 4-0 victory over Austria earlier this morning.

IIHF Statistics - 1 goals, 2 assists in 5 GP

Oliver Ekman-Larsson

After Ekman-Larsson impressed in his first two games with Sweden - scoring the game-winning shootout goal against the host nation Czech Republic and logging two assists against Austria - the Coyotes' emerging blue liner has continued to turn heads on the international circuit.

Now with 7 points (1 goal, 6 assists) in just five games, OEL has helped the Swedes develop into the second-most scoring efficient team in the tournament, allowing just 24 shots to reach their goaltenders while taking 110 of their own in the same time.

In a game vs. Germany on Thursday, the 23-year-old chipped in with an assist to push his team to a 4-3 win.

The Swedes (3-1-1) sit just 1 points behind Canada (4-0-0)—who bested them 6-4 on Wednesday—in the Group A standings.

IIHF Statistics - 1 goal, 6 assists in 5 GP

Tobias Rieder

The Germans have played four games at the IIHF World Championship thus far, and Tobias Rieder has posted two assists as his team has gotten off to a 1-3-0 start.

Rieder would record the primary assist on the opening goal of the game in his second appearance at the World Championship. Already matching his point total from last year's tournament, Rieder was able to post his second point in the Germans' 4-3 loss to Sweden.

IIHF Statistics - 0 goals, 2 assists in 4 GP

Mike Smith

After stopping 16 of 17 shots in Canada's opening 6-1 victory over Latvia, Smith has gone on to post a perfect 3-0-0 record thus far. Martin Jones of the Los Angeles Kings played Canada's second preliminary game.

Currently, Team Canada ranks 5th in goaltending—per the IIHF website—and the players in front of him have gone a long way in making life easier for the Coyotes' starting net minder. Canada ranks first in scoring efficiency, having allowed just 125 shots on goal to 28 goals of their own in four games (18 percent).

Although he did permit Sweden to get out to an early 3-0 lead, Smith was able to stand tall down the stretch, allowing his teammates to take control of the game. It will be interesting to see how head coach Todd McLellan elects to use both Smith and Jones, but the former has done his part to prove himself a viable option in net.

IIHF Statistics - 3-0-0, .892 SV%, 2.67 GAA in 3 appearances

Connor Murphy

Team USA is off to a 3-1-0 start at the World Championships, and neither of the two Coyotes defensemen has gotten on the scoresheet thus far.

Murphy, the 6-4 blue liner, has looked fairly solid on the international ice in the team's first four contests, but has yet to really make his presence felt on offense.

IIHF Statistics - 0 points in 4 GP

John Moore

Moore is basically in the same boat as Murphy, as both are void of points in the World Championships entering play Friday. Because the two have been paired with one another for a good part of the preliminary round, the fact that the two are struggling together isn't much of a surprise.

However, Team USA has put together a strong overall group effort in its first four games, as the team ranks in the top half of the tournament in scoring efficiency, penalty killing, goaltending and penalties.

IIHF Statistics - 0 points in 4 GP

Mark Arcobello

On the heels of an extremely successful 2014-15 campaign in the United States, Arcobello struggled out of the gate in Team USA's first two games on international ice.

However, the Coyotes forward finally found the scoresheet with a goal in the Americans' third game against Russia on Monday. Opportunities were there on Thursday vs. Belarus, but the United States would fall for its first loss in this tournament by a final of 5-2.

IIHF Statistics - 1 goal, 0 assists in 4 GP

Viktor Tikhonov

The Coyotes' first-round pick has spent the majority of his professional career overseas, but is rumored to be eyeing a return to the NHL. In limited action in the Czech Republic, Tikhonov has been hit or miss. He scored once and assisted once in Russia's opening 6-2 victory against Norway, but was a ghastly -3 in a 5-3 victory over Slovenia.

Tikhonov has not scored for Team Russia since, and is a -1 overall in four games on international ice.

IIHF Statistics - 1 goal, 1 assist in 4 GP

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Be sure to check back here at Five For Howling throughout the IIHF World Championship for updates on how all of the participating Arizona Coyotes are doing. Our next report will be this Sunday.