Eller And Bishop To Play In World Championship
ST. LOUIS (April 30, 2010) - Peoria Rivermen goaltender Ben Bishop (United States) and forward Lars Eller (Denmark) will represent their respective countries at the 2010 International Ice Hockey Federation (IIHF) World Men's Championship. In addition, St. Louis Blues forward T.J. Oshie will also represent the U.S. while goaltender Chris Mason will play for Canada.
Bishop, 23, spent his first full season with the Blues' American Hockey League affiliate, the Peoria Rivermen this year, making 48 appearances while amassing a 23-18-4 record, 2.77 GAA and a .901 save percentage. Overall, the Des Peres, Missouri native has accumulated a 40-36-6 record, 2.76 GAA and a .895 save percentage in parts of three seasons with the Rivermen. On Oct. 24, 2008, the 6-foot-7-inch, 205-pound netminder made his NHL debut against the Los Angeles Kings and became the tallest goaltender in NHL history. The following night, he earned his first NHL win, a 4-0 combined shutout of the Florida Panthers in which he stopped all 12 shots he faced. In total, Bishop played in six games for the Blues in 2008-09 and collected a 1-1-1 record to go along with a 2.94 GAA and .893 save percentage. Bishop was originally drafted in the 3rd round (85th overall) by St. Louis in the 2005 Entry Draft.
Eller, 20, appeared in seven games for the Blues this season collecting two goals and four penalty minutes.
On Nov. 5, 2009, Eller became the 12th player in franchise history to score in his NHL debut while etching his name in the record books as just the sixth Danish player in NHL history. The Rodovre, Demark native spent the majority of the 2009-10 season with the Rivermen where he played in 70 games and amassed 18 goals and 39 assists for 57 points and 84 penalty minutes en route to earning his first nomination to the American Hockey League All-Star Game. The 6-foot, 198-pound forward is a two-time former representative of Denmark in international competition. In 2008, he donned the Danish sweater at the World Junior Championship as well as the World Championship. At the World Juniors, Eller made six appearances notching six points on three goals and three assists to go along with 37 penalty minutes while at the World Championship he played in six games collecting two assists. Eller was the Blues first round selection (13th overall) in the 2007 Entry Draft.
Mason, 33, earned honors this season as the NHL's Second Star of the Week for the week ending January 17, a stretch in which he accumulated a 3-0-0 record, 0.67 GAA, .971 save percentage and one shutout. The Red Deer, Alberta, native set career highs this season in games played (61) and wins (30), becoming the first Blues goaltender since Chris Osgood in 2003-04 to record a 30-win season and the first to notch back-to-back seasons of over 25 wins since Grant Fuhr (1994-96). In addition, the 6-foot, 200-pound netminder became the 11th goaltender in franchise history to accumulate 50 career wins in a victory over the New York Islanders on March 11, 2010. In two seasons with St. Louis, Mason has appeared in 118 games posting a 57-43-15 record while earning eight shutouts, a 2.47 GAA and a .915 save percentage. Overall, the 10-year NHL veteran has played in 253 games, amassing a 115-86-27 record, 20 shutouts, a 2.54 GAA and a .914 save percentage.
This will mark Mason's third term as a member of Canada's World Championship roster as he participated in 2006 and 2009 (silver medal) as well, posting a 4-0-0 mark with a 1.00 GAA and one shutout at the 2009 tournament in Switzerland. Mason was originally drafted in the 5th round (122nd overall) by the New Jersey Devils in the 1995 Entry Draft. He was acquired by the Blues on June 1, 2008 from Nashville in exchange for a 4th round pick (Dale Weise) in the 2008 Entry Draft.
Oshie, 23, played in his second NHL season this year earning career highs in games played (76), goals (18), assists (30), points (48) and game-winning goals (3). In addition, the Mt. Vernon, Wash. native notched a career best five-game point-streak between Jan. 30 and Feb. 8 while also tying for the team's longest individual goal-scoring streak during a four-game stretch between Feb. 12 and March 4. During his first two seasons, the 5-foot-11-inch, 194-pound center appeared in 133 games accumulating 32 goals and 55 assists for 87 points and 66 penalty minutes. This will mark Oshie's second consecutive nomination to the U.S. World Championship roster and his third career international appearance. The University of North Dakota alum played in nine games for the U.S. at the 2009 World Championship while during the 2006 World Junior Championship he dressed in seven games collecting a goal and 10 penalty minutes. Oshie was originally drafted in the 1st round (24th overall) by St. Louis in the 2005 Entry Draft.
The 2010 IIHF World Championship will take place in Cologne, Mannheim and Gelsenkirchen, Germany, May 7-May 23. Updated stats from the tournament will be posted at www.stlouisblues.com.
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