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 Wheeling Nailers

Nailers Well Represented at World Championship

May 15, 2024 - ECHL (ECHL)
Wheeling Nailers News Release

WHEELING, WV- Although the 2023-24 season for the Wheeling Nailers has come to an end, hockey season is still going on for six current and former members of the team, thanks to the IIHF Ice Hockey World Championship in Czechia. Three of the six played for Wheeling this season.

2023-24 team captain Justin Addamo is playing for Team France, and he made an immediate impact in his tournament debut. Addamo scored two goals in France's 4-2 victory over Poland on Tuesday - the first win for France in the tournament. This is the second straight year that Justin is competing in the World Championship, as he scored two goals in seven matches last spring. The Clermont-Ferrand native is coming off of another sensational season with the Nailers, as he averaged nearly a point per game with 34 points in 35 regular season games.

Thimo Nickl was the first player from Austria in Wheeling history, and his tournament debut was a memorable one. Austria trailed traditional powerhouse Canada 6-1 after two periods, before scoring five straight goals to force overtime in an eventual 7-6 defeat. The point was Austria's first of the tournament, and Nickl assisted on one of the goals during the comeback. This is Thimo's second time competing in the World Championship, as he suited up in seven games last year. The Klagenfurt native was the team leader for the Nailers with a +25 rating in the regular season.

Raivis Ansons is one of two current or former Nailers on Team Latvia, who has opened the tournament with three consecutive victories. Latvia earned a pair of one-goal wins over Poland and France, before blanking Kazakhstan. Ansons notched an assist on the opening goal of the tournament. This is Raivis' first appearance in the World Championship, but he does have prior international experience in the World Junior Championship. The Riga native spent most of this past season with Wilkes-Barre/Scranton, but contributed three points in eight games with Wheeling.

The other member of Team Latvia with Wheeling ties is Renars Krastenbergs, who is playing in the World Championship for the fourth year in a row. Krastenbergs' best performance in the tournament came in 2021, when he netted a pair of goals in six games. Renars played in Switzerland and Austria during the 2023-24 campaign, and collected 34 points in 41 games. The Jelgava native spent two seasons with the Nailers from 2018-20, when he tallied 74 points in 114 contests.

Another player with multiple appearances in the World Championship is Frederik Tiffels of Team Germany, who is playing in the tournament for the sixth time in his career. Tiffels will look to help turn around Germany's 1-2 start in a tournament he has historically had great success in, as he has scored eight goals in his five previous years. Frederik won a DEL Championship this season with Eisbären Berlin, as he racked up 38 points in 50 regular season games, then added nine more points in 15 playoff contests. The DEL is Germany's highest league. The Köln native spent one season with the Nailers, as he accumulated 33 points in 44 games during the 2016-17 campaign.

Finally, there is one former Wheeling goaltender in the tournament, and that is Emil Larmi of Team Finland, who is making his second straight appearance. Finland is off to a 2-0-1 start in the tournament, and one of those triumphs was a 14-save shutout by Larmi in an 8-0 thrashing of Great Britain. Emil played in the highest league in Sweden this past year, as he went 20-13 in 34 games with Växjö Lakers HC in the SHL. The Lahti native earned four wins for the Nailers during the 2019-20 season.

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