Team USA scored two goals six seconds apart late in the second period to break a 0-0 deadlock and skated to a 3-1 win over Russia tonight in Ostrava.
What a difference 24 hours makes! One night, everything goes in; the next night? Not so much. Russia’s puck luck in a 6-0 win over Canada was nowhere to be found, and U.S. goalie Spencer Knight stole the show with solid, rebound-free goaltending.
The Americans have now won the last five meetings between the teams, with Russia’s most recent win coming nearly four years ago.
The U.S. will finish its round robin with a blockbuster game tomorrow night against hosts Czech Republic. Russia has a day off before playing Germany on Tuesday, the final day of the preliminary round.
The U.S. was playing after a day’s rest, but the first period was a fairly tentative one as neither team took many chances. The four power plays, two both ways, yielded no goals and precious few good chances, although American goalie had the tougher saves than Amir Miftakhov, who posted the shutout 24 hours earlier.
Rumours of physical hockey being dead were greatly exaggerated, though, as the boys threw their weight around with liberal abandon all game long.
As the second period played out it looked like we would be going to a shootout after a 0-0 game. Defemcena Zac Jones hit the post early on, and soon after Alexander Khovanov had a great chance in front during a four-on-four.
The turning point came late in the period during a U.S. power play, one of four they enjoyed in the middle 20 (the Russians had three). The Russians broke out after a turnover and created an odd-man rush, and Maxim Sorkin found himself taking a cross-ice pass looking at an empty net. He failed to connect, however, and the Americans came down the ice and scored.
If you could program a computer to design a goal for this U.S. team it would tell you Trevor Zegras is going to make the pass and Arthur Kaliyev is going to score on the one-timer. And that’s what happened. At 16:41. For a 1-0 U.S. lead.
But while fans were either celebrating or booing, as appropriate for the teams they were cheering, the Americans created a two-on-one off the faceoff. Oliver Wahlstrom made a pass over to Nick Robertson, and it bounced off his stick, off a defenceman, and over Miftakhov’s stick. The two goals came just six seconds apart, tying the U20 record for fastest two goals by a team.
The U.S. got a fortuitous goal just 1:20 into the third courtesy of the Zegras-Kaliyev combination again. This time Zegras made a deft little tip at his blue line to get the puck to Kaliyev. He went in on goal and used defenceman Yegor Zamula as a screen before firing a long shot. Miftakhov muffed it, and with a 3-0 deficit coach Valeri Bragin pulled his goalie for Yaroslav Askarov.
The Russians responded well, making a nice three-way passing play in the U.S. end with Alexander Romanov rifling a shot past Spencer Knight to make it 3-1. Nikita Alexandrov and Danil Zhuravlyov got the nice helpers on that one.
01:46 – 🇷🇺 PEN – Khovanov, late hit
06:44 – 🇺🇸 PEN – Kaliyev, slashing double minor
19:17 – 🇷🇺 PEN – Misyul, checking to the head minor + 10 min. misconduct
20:47 – 🇺🇸 PEN – Robertson, tripping
25:06 – 🇷🇺 PEN – Voronkov, roughing
25:06 – 🇺🇸 PEN – Wahlstrom, roughing
28:38 – 🇷🇺 PEN – Sokolov, interference
33:10 – 🇺🇸 PEN – Stastney, slashing
35:28 – 🇷🇺 PEN – Kruglov, tripping
36:41 – 🇺🇸 PP GOAL – Kaliyev (Zegras, Caufield)
36:47 – 🇺🇸 GOAL – Robertson (Wahlstrom)
38:19 – 🇷🇺 PEN – Voronkov, holding
41:20 – 🇺🇸 GOAL – Kaliyev (Zegras, Drury)
43:04 – 🇷🇺 GOAL – Romanov (Zhuravlyov, Alexandrov)
50:40 – 🇷🇺 PEN – Sokolov, interference
53:26 – 🇺🇸 PEN – Stastney, tripping
59:02 – 🇺🇸 PEN – Ford, high sticking
59:02 – 🇷🇺 PEN – Voronkov, roughing
59:02 – 🇺🇸 PEN – Hall, roughing
W: 🇺🇸 Knight (25-26)
L: 🇷🇺 Miftakhov (15-18), Askarov (6-6)
SHOTS ON GOAL
🇺🇸 10+7+7 = 24
🇷🇺 8+9+9 = 26
🇺🇸 Goaltenders: Spencer Knight, Dustin Wolf. Defence: Ty Emberson, Jordan Harris, Zac Jones, K’Andre Miller (A), Mattias Samuelsson (C), Spencer Stastney, Cam York. Forwards: John Beecher, Bobby Brink, Cole Caufield, Jack Drury, Parker Ford, Curtis Hall, Arthur Kaliyev, Shane Pinto, Jacob Pivonka, Nick Robertson, Alex Turcotte, Oliver Wahlstrom (A), Trevor Zegras.
🇷🇺 Goaltenders: Yaroslav Askarov, Amir Miftakhov. Defence: Danila Galenyuk, Anton Malyshev, Danil Misyul, Danil Pylenkov, Alexander Romanov (A), Yegor Zamula, Danil Zhuravlyov. Forwards: Nikita Alexandrov, Grigori Denisenko (C), Pavel Dorofeyev, Maxim Groshev, Alexander Khovanov, Ilya Kruglov, Kirill Marchenko, Ivan Morozov, Vasili Podkolzin (A), Nikita Rtishev, Yegor Sokolov, Maxim Sorkin, Dmitri Voronkov.
|🇺🇸 UNITED STATES||vs.||RUSSIA (C) 🇷🇺|
(previous 26 Dec 2019)
|Last Title||reign ends
(since 28 Dec 2019)
|First IHLC Meeting (RUS vs. USA)
🇷🇺 URS 9-1 USA 🇺🇸 – 04 Jan 1974 – WJT – Leningrad 🇷🇺
|Previous IHLC Meeting (RUS vs. USA)
🇺🇸 USA 4-2 RUS 🇷🇺 – 02 Jan 2018 – WJC – Buffalo 🇺🇸
|Last IHLC Game
🇷🇺 RUS 6-0 CAN 🇨🇦 – 28 Dec 2019 – WJC – Ostrava 🇨🇿
|Next IHLC Game
🇺🇸 USA 4-3 CZE 🇨🇿 (OT) – 30 Dec 2019 – WJC – Ostrava 🇨🇿