Last year, the Devils had a hefty organizational representation at the IIHF World Championship. This year, despite missing the playoffs again, only one person from the organization will be representing their county in the annual May tournament. That would be Yohann Auvitu, who had been skating for the Albany Devils until last week when the Devils’ AHL team was eliminated from the Calder Cup playoffs.
Auvitu is playing for France at the World Championship, which kicked off yesterday in Cologne, Germany and Paris, France. The French took on Norway at the AccorHotels Arena in Paris in their first game and lost, 3-2 earlier today.
Norway got the scoring going when Ken Andre Olimb scored about 5:13 into the second period. He got assists from Mathis Olimb and Patrick Thoresen. The Norwegians would double up their lead when the same line scored at about the 9:40 mark of the second. Thoresen scored with assists to both Olimbs. That one came on the power play, as France’s Olivier Dame-Malka had been called for delay of game. Coincidental minors to Norway’s Andreas Martinsen and France’s Nicolas Besch for roughing followed to make it a 4-on-3.
Prior to the end of the period, at the 18:14 mark, France’s Stephane da Costa scored to make it 2-1. He got a lone assist from Damien Fleury.
Each team would get one more in the third, with Norway making it 3-1 when Thoresen scored from Aleksander Reichenberg about ten minutes into the third frame. The French would score ten seconds after that goal when da Costa scored his second of the game from Auvitu and Besch to make it 3-2. But that was as close as the French got.
Auvitu’s full stat line saw him with the assist for a point, two shots on goal, a plus-2 rating in 23:21 of ice time.
In goal, Lars Haugen made 22 saves on 24 French shots for a 91.67 save percentage. For France, Cristobal Huet made 21 saves also on 24 shots faced for a 87.50 save percentage.
France plays again tomorrow when they take on Finland in Paris.