TAMPERE, Finland – Alex Galchenyuk (Milwaukee, Wis.) scored Team USA’s lone goal as the 2022 U.S. Men’s National Team fell to Finland, 4-1, here tonight before a capacity crowd in preliminary round play at the 2022 IIHF Men’s World Championship.
“We can’t take as many penalties as we did and expect to win,” said David Quinn, head coach of the 2022 U.S. Men’s National Team. “They’re the top team in the world for a reason and full marks to them. The positive is that we had a good third period and we’ll make sure we learn from this game as we get set to continue on in the tournament.”
Play was fast and physical right from puck drop and Team USA had a power play opportunity less than a minute in. The Finnish penalty kill made it difficult for the U.S. to generate shots on net, but Sean Farrell (Hopkinton, Mass.) nearly beat Finnish netminder Jussi Olkinuora before it was whacked out of the crease. Finland generated chances early on too with an odd man rush, but U.S. goaltender Strauss Mann (Greenwich, Conn.) kept the game at zero.
Mann came up with several more saves to keep it 0-0, notably with the teams skating four-on-four where he made a point-blank save on a Finnish forward waiting at the crease. Finland went on to tally one with a man advantage, however, to take the lead with 2:40 left in the first.
Ben Meyers (Delano, Minn.) nearly tied it up in the final two minutes on a power play opportunity and skated in low before he was denied. As the power play carried over into the second and was winding down, Galchenyuk gave the U.S. one last look from the blue line but Olkinuora turned it aside. A five-minute major committed by the U.S. was costly, as Finland took advantage of the opportunity and netted a pair of goals, followed by a four-on-four tally five minutes later.
The U.S., which outshot Finland 16-3 in the third, had multiple opportunities with sustained pressure midway through the final stanza, including one in the slot from Meyers, but the Finnish netminder got a piece of the puck to keep Team USA off the board.
Galchenyuk went between-the-legs for a goal after he received a short side feed from Luke Hughes (Canton, Mich.) with 1:39 for the lone U.S. marker of the evening.
The U.S. returns to the ice Thursday against Great Britain at 4:20 p.m. (9:20 a.m. ET). The game can be seen live on NHL Network.
NOTES: Luke Hughes (Canton, Mich.) was named U.S. Player of the Game… The U.S. had a 30-25 shots-on-goal advantage in the contest… Team USA was 0-for-5 on the power play, while Finland was 3-for-9… For more information about the 2022 IIHF Men’s World Championship, click here.