RIGA, Latvia – The U.S. Men’s National Team used goals from Adam Clendening (Niagara Falls, N.Y.), Trevor Moore (Thousand Oaks, Calif) and Jack Drury (Winnetka, Ill.), along with 18 saves from Cal Petersen (Waterloo, Iowa), on the way to a 3-0 victory over Kazakhstan here tonight in preliminary round play at the 2021 IIHF Men’s World Championship.
"We knew Kazakhstan would be a tight defensive team and I’m proud of the way our guys were able to adjust our structure and come out with the win," said Jack Capuano, head coach of the 2021 U.S. Men's National Team. "This is a fun group to be around, a lot of them are playing their first time internationally and their pride and work ethic shows."
The U.S. fired 25 shots on goal in the opening stanza -- the third most ever in a period for Team USA in the world championship -- and had a 1-0 lead after 20 minutes. The goal came from Clendening who finished a nice three-way play with Jason Robertson (Northville, Mich.) and Moore with a wrist shot from the side of the right circle. While Petersen faced just eight shots, he made a handful of key saves, including on a solid chance from Nikita Mikhailis with just more than four minutes to go in the period from near the left dot.
The U.S. extended its lead at 1:33 of the second period after Moore backhanded one to the back of the net from out in front after a scramble caused from an initial point shot off the stick of Conor Garland (Scituate, Mass.) on a delayed penalty call. Eric Robinson (Bellmawr, N.J.) nearly made it 3-0 after a nifty move between defenders down the left side with the U.S. shorthanded, but Kazakhstan netminder Nikita Boyarkin stopped a puck that trickled between his legs just before it crossed the goal line.
Drury tipped home a shot from out in front off a center point shot from Ryan Donato (Scituate, Mass.) to extend Team USA’s lead to 3-0 just 1:58 into the third period. Kazakhstan nearly got on the board with just over three minutes gone in the stanza, but it was ruled that Yegor Petukhov kicked the puck into the net. Less than a minute later, Petersen made a solid save on Darren Dietz to maintain the U.S. lead.
Team USA, 2-0-0-1 (W-OTW-OTL-L), will face host Latvia on Thursday (May 27) in its fourth of seven preliminary round games. Opening faceoff is set for 9:15 a.m. ET and the game can be seen live on NHL Network.
NOTES: NOTES: Cal Petersen, who made 18 saves in the shutout victory, was named the U.S. Player of the Game. It was the first shutout in a world championship game for Team USA since May 7, 2018, when Keith Kinkaid made 24 saves in a 3-0 win over Germany … The U.S. outshot Kazakhstan, 52-18 … The U.S. was 0-4 on the power play, while Kazakhstan was 0-2 … Defensemen Adam Clendening tallied the game-winning goal for the second straight game for Team USA … Justin Abdelkader (Muskegon, Mich.) is serving as captain of Team USA, while Colin Blackwell (North Andover, Mass.) and Matt Roy (Detroit, Mich.) are the squad’s alternate captains.