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38 AHL grads claim Olympic medals

Thirty-eight former American Hockey League players are leaving Turin with medals around their necks as the 2006 Winter Olympic Games came to a close on Sunday.

A total of 21 AHL graduates played in Sunday’s gold-medal game between Finland and Sweden, including 2005 Calder Cup Playoffs MVP Antero Niittymaki and 2005 Eddie Shore Award winner Niklas Kronwall, who scored a goal to help the Swedes to a 3-2 victory over the Finns and their first Olympic gold since 1994.

Niittymaki, whose goaltending led the Philadelphia Phantoms to the Calder Cup championship last spring, was named the most valuable player of the Olympic tournament.

The Czech Republic captured the bronze medal with a 3-0 win over Russia on Saturday. Martin Erat, who spent most of the 2002-03 season with the AHL’s Milwaukee Admirals, recorded a goal and an assist in the game, and Tomas Vokoun, MVP of the 1997 AHL All-Star Game, made 28 saves for the shutout.

All told, 123 American Hockey League alumni participated in the 12-day tournament, including 25 former AHL All-Stars.

Sweden (11)
– Gold –
Christian Backman, D
Niclas Havelid, D
Kenny Jonsson, D
Mika Hannula, F
Tomas Holmstrom, F
Niklas Kronwall, D
Mattias Norstrom, D
Samuel Pahlsson, F
Mikael Samuelsson, F
Ronnie Sundin, D
Mikael Tellqvist, G

Christian Backman, D Niclas Havelid, D Kenny Jonsson, D Mika Hannula, F Tomas Holmstrom, F Niklas Kronwall, D Mattias Norstrom, D Samuel Pahlsson, F Mikael Samuelsson, F Ronnie Sundin, D Mikael Tellqvist, G
Finland (11)
– Silver –
Jukka Hentunen, F
Olli Jokinen, F
Niko Kapanen, F
Mikko Koivu, F
Lasse Kukkonen, D
Antti Laaksonen, F
Antti-Jussi Niemi, D
Ville Nieminen, F
Antero Niittymaki, G
Ville Peltonen, F
Jarkko Ruutu, F

Jukka Hentunen, F Olli Jokinen, F Niko Kapanen, F Mikko Koivu, F Lasse Kukkonen, D Antti Laaksonen, F Antti-Jussi Niemi, D Ville Nieminen, F Antero Niittymaki, G Ville Peltonen, F Jarkko Ruutu, F
Czech Republic (16)
– Bronze –
Jan Bulis, F
Patrik Elias, F
Martin Erat, F
Milan Hnilicka, G
Frantisek Kaberle, D
Tomas Kaberle, D
Ales Kotalik, F
Filip Kuba, D
Pavel Kubina, F
Marek Malik, D
Vaclav Prospal, F
Martin Rucinsky, F
Dusan Salficky, G
Jaroslav Spacek, D
Tomas Vokoun, G
David Vyborny, F
Jan Bulis, F Patrik Elias, F Martin Erat, F Milan Hnilicka, G Frantisek Kaberle, D Tomas Kaberle, D Ales Kotalik, F Filip Kuba, D Pavel Kubina, F Marek Malik, D Vaclav Prospal, F Martin Rucinsky, F Dusan Salficky, G Jaroslav Spacek, D Tomas Vokoun, G David Vyborny, F