COLOGNE, Germany – Connor Murphy (Dublin, Ohio/Arizona Coyotes) scored and Jimmy Howard (Syracuse, N.Y./Detroit Red Wings/University of Maine) made 25 saves, but the U.S. Men’s National Team fell to Germany, 2-1, to open play here at the 2017 International Ice Hockey Federation Men’s World Championship before a sellout crowd of 18,688 at LAXNESS Arena.
“It was a fantastic environment tonight,” said Jeff Blashill, head coach of the 2017 U.S. Men’s National Team. “I thought we got better as the game went on. We’re disappointed, obviously, but this tournament is a process and we’ll build on this game.”
The U.S. nearly opened the scoring twice in the first two minutes of play on a breakaway attempt by Johnny Gaudreau (Salem, N.J./Calgary Flames/Boston College) and a shot off the left post by Nick Schmaltz (Madison, Wis./Chicago Blackhawks/University of North Dakota). Germany got on the board first when Tobias Rieder collected his own rebound and slipped the puck past the right pad of Howard with 9:10 left in the first period. The Germans maintained their 1-0 advantage after 20 minutes.
Gaudreau almost tied the game on Team USA’s first power play of the contest halfway through the middle frame, but his point-blank attempt was stopped by the left pad of Thomas Greiss, who made 42 saves in the game.
Murphy tied the game with nine minutes left in regulation with a wrist shot at the top of the right circle that beat Greiss at the far post.
The U.S. nearly took the lead just seconds after Murphy’s tally, but a German defender swiped the rebound attempt of Anders Lee (Edina, Minn./New York Islanders/University of Notre Dame) away just before it crossed the goal line.
Germany regained the lead with 6:02 to play on a deflection by Patrick Hager on the power play.
The U.S., which racked up a 20-6 advantage in shots in the final period, pulled Howard for the extra attacker for the final two minutes of play but was unable to net the equalizer.
Team USA continues preliminary round play Sunday (May 7) against Denmark at 10:15 a.m. ET. (Live on NHL Network; live stream on NBC Sports app and at NBCSports.com).
NOTES: Connor Murphy was named U.S. Player of the Game … Team USA outshot Germany, 43-27 … The U.S. was 0-for-2 on the power play, while Germany finished 1-for-2 ... For complete game stats, click here … NHL Network’s live game schedule for the IIHF Men's World Championship is available here ... The official online home of the 2017 IIHF Men’s World Championship is IIHFWorlds2017.com … Join the conversation using #2017MWC.
|May 2||Italy (exh.)||W, 5-2||Agora Arena||Milan, Italy|
|May 5||Germany||L, 1-2||LANXESS Arena||Cologne, Germany|
|May 7||Denmark||W, 7-2||LANXESS Arena||Cologne, Germany|
|May 8||Sweden||W, 4-3||LANXESS Arena||Cologne, Germany|
|May 10||Italy||W, 3-0||LANXESS Arena||Cologne, Germany|
|May 13||Latvia||W, 5-3||LANXESS Arena||Cologne, Germany|
|May 14||Slovakia||W, 6-1||LANXESS Arena||Cologne, Germany|
|May 16||Russia||W, 5-3||LANXESS Arena||Cologne, Germany|
|May 18||Finland (quarterfinal)||L, 0-2||LANXESS Arena||Cologne, Germany|