RIGA, Lativa – Cal Petersen (Waterloo, Iowa) turned aside all 33 shots he faced for his second shutout to lead the U.S. Men’s National Team to a 2-0 shutout victory over Germany in preliminary round play at the 2021 IIHF Men’s World Championship. Jason Robertson (Northville, Mich.) and Colin Blackwell (North Andover, Mass.) each scored to help the U.S. win its fifth-straight win at the world championship for Team USA.
“That’s a really good hockey team, full credit to them,” said head coach Jack Capuano. “Our guys made sacrifices, stuck to the structure and found a way to win. I’m really impressed with how we’ve come together so far and now we’ve got one more game here to finish our group play on a positive before getting ready for the quarterfinal.”
The game opened with a scoreless frame that saw chances for both teams. At the midway mark of the period, Eric Robinson (Bellmawr, N.J.) had Team USA’s best chance of the frame after collecting a pass at the back-post, but his attempt at the top-left corner was turned aside by Germany netminder Felix Bruckmann. With the U.S. on the penalty kill in the closing minutes of the period, Petersen stood tall to finish with 11 saves and keep the game scoreless into the middle stanza.
In the second period, a tight-checking level of play prevented both teams from generating any quality chances. With no score still under the five-minute mark, Conor Garland (Scituate, Mass.) and Trevor Moore (Thousand Oaks, Calif.) nearly connected but Garland’s centering feed was redirected off a Germany defender’s skate and bounced out of harm’s way. Minutes later, the U.S. was awarded its first powerplay of the game with 3:52 left in the period and took nearly the full two-minute man-advantage before capitalizing for a 1-0 lead. The play came when Garland’s shot from the top-right circle bounced off Ryan Donato (Scituate, Mass.) and fell in front of an out-of-position Bruckmann, allowing Robertson to sweep home the luck puck for the game’s opening goal and his sixth point in as many games.
The U.S. was able to keep Germany scoreless through the third period. Tage Thompson (Orange, Conn.) had a chance to extend the U.S. advantage on a breakaway to the right side that was stopped by the netminder’s skate. With just :27 seconds left, Blackwell scored an empty-netter to finish the game off, 2-0. Petersen picked up his third win and second shutout of the tournament with 33 saves.
Team USA, 5-0-0-1 (W-OTW-OTL-L), will face Italy on Tuesday (June 1) in its final preliminary round game. Opening faceoff is set for 9:15 a.m. ET and the game can be seen live on NHL Network.
NOTES: Cal Petersen (Waterloo, Iowa) was named the U.S. Player of the Game for the second time … Germany outshot the U.S., 33-15 … The U.S. was 1-4 on the power play, while Germany was 0-4 … 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.