BRATISLAVA, Slovakia -- Matt White (Whittier, Calif.) scored three times and added four assists to lead the U.S. National Inline Team to an 8-2 victory over Croatia in its final preliminary-round game at the 2017 International Ice Hockey Federation Inline World Championship.
With the victory, Team USA (3-0-0-0; W-OTW-OTL-L) clinches the top seed in Group A and will meet Germany in the quarterfinals Thursday (June 29) at 2 p.m. ET. A live stream of that contest will be available here.
"We’re pleased with being the top seed after getting three wins in three days," said Joe Cook, head coach of the U.S. National Inline Team. "We are very excited to head into the playoff round where the intensity is sure to pick up a few notches.”
Croatia took a 2-0 lead in the first 5:41 of the contest before White cut Team USA’s deficit in half six minutes into play.
White tied the game 6:31 into the second frame when he skated down the left wing, deked past a pair of defenders and slid a backhand shot past Croatian goaltender Mate Tomljenovic.
Just 1:08 later, Jack Combs (St. Louis, Mo.) gave Team USA a 3-2 lead with a one-timer just below the right circle.
Nielsson Arcibal (Vista, Calif.) doubled the U.S. advantage when he banked a rebound off the back of Tomljenovic for a shorthanded tally 2:24 into the third stanza.
White completed the hat trick just over two minutes later with a power-play goal from the slot.
Combs buried a cross-crease feed from Derrick Burnett (Corona, Calif.) with 2:21 left in the third period before Jalen Krogman (St. Charles, Mo.) gave Team USA a 7-2 lead with his first goal of the tournament in the final minute of the frame.
Travis Noe (Thousand Oaks, Calif.) added a power-play goal with 3:21 to play to make the final 8-2.
Jerry Kuhn (Southgate, Mich.) made seven saves to earn his second victory of the tournament for Team USA.
NOTES: Derrick Burnett (0-5--5), Jack Combs (2-1--3), Travis Noe (1-2--3), Cody Kettler (0-3--3), and Nielsson Arcibal (1-1--2) each notched multi-point games alongside White. For complete game stats, click here … Team USA has scored eight goals in each of its first three games … The U.S. has medaled in all but five of the 19 IIHF Inline World Championships previously staged, including six gold medals (1996, 1997, 2004, 2006, 2010, 2013), four silver medals (1998, 2001, 2009, 2011) and four bronze medals (2000, 2003, 2005, 2014). There was no tournament held in 1999 or 2016.
|Date||Opponent||TIme (Local/ET)/Result||Location||Live Stream|
|Sun., June 25||Slovakia||W, 8-1||Ondrej Nepala Arena||IIHF|
|Mon., June 26||Canada||W, 8-2||Ondrej Nepala Arena||IIHF|
|Tues., June 27||Croatia||W, 8-2||Ondrej Nepala Arena||IIHF|
|Thurs., June 29||Germany
|W, 4-1||Ondrej Nepala Arena||IIHF|
|Fri., June 30||Czech Republic
|W, 5-4||Ondrej Nepala Arena||IIHF|
|Sat., July 1||Finland
|W, 4-2||Ondrej Nepala Arena||IIHF|