1) Monday was a wild day at the IIHF World Championships featuring a seesaw battle between Canada and host nation Slovakia, an overtime battle between Team USA and Finland, a Tre Kronor blowout of Norway and a Russia shutout of previously unbeaten Czech Republic. A summary follows, with notes on how Flyers played fared.
* Canada 5 - Slovakia 4: In a match between the teams coached by current Flyers head coach Alain Vigneault and former Flyers assistant/head coach Craig Ramsay, Team Canada battled back from deficits of 2-0 in the first period and 4-2 in the middle frame to twice the game. A would-be go-ahead 5-4 goal for the Slovaks was disallowed on a challenge for goalie interference. Finally, a buzzer-beating goal by Vegas forward Mark Stone with 1.8 seconds left on the third period clock sealed a regulation win for the Canadians. Flyers center Sean Couturier was minus-one (+1, -2) at even strength with two shots on goal in 16:30 of ice time.
* USA 3 - Finland 2 (OT): An early 2-0 lead for Team USA evaporated by midway through regulation. Ultimately, Dylan Larkin won the game for Team USA in the 3-on-3 overtime on a disputed play in which Clayton Keller got away with an unpenalized interference as the rush moved up ice. Flyers left winger James van Riemsdyk played in the lower half of the Team USA lineup. He had one shot on goal in 11:17 of ice time across 21 shifts. JVR's highlight on Monday was setting up a point-blank scoring chance for Jack Hughes.
* Sweden 9 - Norway 1: Tre Kronor played with a lead for 59:41 of the game's 60 minutes, and the game quickly turned into a blowout. Flyers left winger Oskar Lindblom, who was uncharacteristically assessed a 10-minute misconduct early in the third period, later scored the final goal for the Swedes. Lindblom has scored a goal in all three games thus far. Philadelphia and Tre Kronor teammate Robert Hägg skated 16:14 of ice time and was credited with one shot on goal.
* Russia 3 - Czech Republic 0: Andrei Vasilevskiy recorded a 23-save shutout and goals by Sergei Andronov and Nikita Gusev (even strength and empty net) put up a scoreboard picket fence for the Russian side. Flyers right winger Jakub Voracek had one shot on goal and was minus-two in 17:41 TOI, while Radko Gudas was minus-one with three shots on goal in 21:54 TOI across 28 shifts.
2) On Tuesday at the World Championships, Michael Raffl and winless Team Austria take on Switzerland. The other Tuesday games pit Denmark against Great Britain, Italy against Latvia and Germany against France.
3) The participants and schedule are set for the 2019 Memorial Cup in Halifax, Nova Scotia. On Monday, the Prince Albert Raiders prevailed 3-2 in overtime against the Vancouver Giants in Game 7 of their Western Conference Final series. On Friday, the Raiders will take on the tournament host Halifax Mooseheads in the first game of the round robin. Flyers prospect Isaac Ratcliffe and the rest of the OHL champion Guelph Storm play their opener on Saturday. Here is the full schedule:
Fri May 17 (8 p.m.): Prince Albert (WHL) vs. Halifax (QMJHL)
Sat May 18 (4:30 p.m.): Guelph (OHL) vs. Rouyn-Noranda (QMJHL)
Sun May 19 (8 p.m.): Guelph (OHL) vs. Halifax (QMJHL)
Mon May 20 (8 p.m.): Rouyn-Noranda (QMJHL) vs. Prince Albert (WHL)
Tue May 21 (8 p.m.): Guelph (OHL) vs. Prince Albert (WHL)
Wed May 22 (8 p.m.): Rouyn-Noranda (QMHL) vs. Halifax (QMJHL)
Thu May 23 (8 p.m.): Semifinal play-in tiebreaker game (if necessary)
Fri May 24 (8 p.m.): Semifinal Game
Sat May 25 (8 p.m.): Championship Game
4) Today in Flyers History: On May 14, 2010, the Flyers completed their historic Eastern Conference Semifinals comeback against the Boston Bruins with a dramatic 4-3 victory.
After winning three games in a row to even up the series after a three games to zero deficit via an overtime victory in Game 4, a combined shutout between Brian Boucher and Michael Leighton in Game 5, and a 2-1 home win for Philly in Game 6, the series moved back to Boston for Game 7.
The Bruins roared out to a 3-0 lead in the first period before Flyers head coach Peter Laviolette called a desperately needed timeout. James van Riemsdyk got the Flyers on the board late in the first period to narrow the gap to 3-1. In the second period, linemates Scott Hartnell and Danny Briere both scored goals to even up the score at 3-3. That set the stage for a memorable third period power play goal by Simon Gagne with 7:08 left in regulation after the Bruins were called for too many men on the ice. Tight checking by the Flyers limited the Bruins to just five shots on goal in the third period, and Philly skated off with the series victory on the way the Stanley Cup Final.
5) May 14 Flyers Alumni birthdays: Don Blackburn (1938), Pierre Plante (1951).