RIGA, Latvia – The U.S. Men’s National Team got goals from six different players and 33 saves from Cal Petersen (Waterloo, Iowa) on the way to a 6-1 win over Germany here today in the bronze-medal game of the 2021 IIHF Men’s World Championship. The U.S. has now medaled in four of the last eight men's world championships, the best medal stretch for the U.S. since 1931-47.
"These guys should be very proud of the way they played today and in this tournament," said head coach Jack Capuano. "I am very proud of the way this group competed. They're coming home with a medal, and I think they made USA Hockey and everyone involved proud."
The U.S. leaned on its tournament-leading penalty kill early on and killed off a four-minute German power play, thanks in part to a pair of blocked shots from Colin Blackwell (North Andover, Mass.).
In the dying seconds of the Germany man-advantage, Christian Wolanin (Rochester, Mich.) created a turnover at the U.S. blue line, outraced a German defender and skated in uncontested before tucking a backhanded attempt inside the far-right post for an early 1-0 U.S. lead.
The U.S. nearly doubled its lead on a pair of attempts from Brian Boyle (Hingham, Mass.), whose one-timer from the right dot bounced away of the pad of German netminder Felix Bruckmann and Kevin Rooney’s (Canton, Mass.) close-range shot minutes later was unable to slip past the netminder’s skate as Team USA carried a 1-0 lead into intermission.
The U.S. broke the game open with a four-goal second period, all of which came in a six-minute span. Conor Garland (Scituate, Mass.) started the scoring 6:27 into the frame when he netted a rebound off a shot from the blue line by Jason Robertson (Northville, Mich.) off an initial feed from Wolanin. Less than two minutes later, Jack Drury (Winnetka, Ill.) put the U.S. up 3-0 when he finished a two-on-one rush off a pass from Sasha Chmelevski (Huntington Beach, Calif.), who started the play by intercepting a German pass just inside the U.S. blue line.
Near the midway point of the frame, the U.S. scored on back-to-back powerplay opportunities just 40 seconds apart off goals from Robertson and Trevor Moore (Thousand Oaks, Calif.). Robertson struck first, firing a wrist shot from the slot into the top-right corner before Moore put home his own rebound at the top of the crease. Both Garland and Tage Thompson (Orange, Conn.) were credited with assists on the powerplay tallies as the U.S. carried a 5-0 lead into the final stanza.
Kevin Labanc (Staten Island, N.Y.) had an early chance in the first-half of the final period. Labanc’s shot came from the top of the slot of a pass from Garland, but was deflected away by the netminder. Germany stopped the U.S. from capturing the shutout 9:28 into the period as Dominik Bittner received a pass in front of the crease from Matthias, making the score 5-1.
The U.S. went up 6-1 less than :30 seconds later as Ryan Donato (Scituate, Mass.) tapped in the puck just past the netminder’s right skate. Adam Clendening (Niagara Falls, N.Y.) and Thompson picked up assists on the goal, securing the 6-1 victory over Germany.
NOTES: Jason Robertson (Northville, Mich.) was named the U.S. Player of the Game … Germany outshot the U.S., 34-30 … The U.S. was 2-4 on the power play, while Germany was 0-7 … Brian Boyle (Hingham, Mass.) took over as captain of Team USA with Justin Abdelkader (Muskegon, Mich.) out indefinitely due to injury, while Colin Blackwell (North Andover, Mass.) and Matt Roy (Detroit, Mich.) are the squad’s alternate captains.