Center Nate Thompson and defenseman Matt Carle, a couple of NHLers from Anchorage skating for Team USA at the World Championships in Sweden and Finland, are into the semis after today's 8-3 win over Russia in the quarterfinals in Helsinki.
Thompson and Carle are both alternate captains for the Americans. They are also teammates on the Tampa Bay Lightning, which did not make the playoffs, which opened the way for Thompson and Carle to play at the Worlds.
Team USA on Saturday plays Switzerland in a semifinal in Stockholm.
Thompson, who started the season with the Alaska Aces in the ECHL during the NHL lockout, owns 1-2--3 totals and a +1 rating in eight games. He is averaging 14:30 of ice time per game, and had a goal against Russia.
Carle, who is logging 18:05 a game (easier duty than his heavy, heavy ice time with the Lightning), has furnished the Americans two assists and a +2 rating in eight games.
Reaching the semis guarantees the Americans a shot at a medal. If they win their semi, obviously, they are into the final and will earn either gold or silver. If the lose their semi, they still have a shot at a bronze medal.