TAMPERE, Finland – Kieffer Bellows (Edina, Minn.) scored a pair of power play goals in the third period and Jeremy Swayman (Anchorage, Alaska) recorded a shutout in his debut at the 2022 IIHF Men’s World Championship as the U.S. Men’s National Team defeated Great Britain, 3-0, here today.
“We got the three points and that’s the important thing,” said David Quinn, head coach of Team USA. “Our special teams were good and I especially liked what we did in the final two periods.”
The U.S. penalty kill came up strong as it allowed only one good opportunity for Great Britain on four power play tries in the first period. Swayman made his toughest save 6:57 into the game with a second-chance save right at the crease.
The U.S. peppered Great Britain starting goaltender Jackson Whistle throughout the opening 20 minutes, with its best look around the five-minute mark when Sean Farrell’s (Hopkinton, Mass) blast from the slot was turned away, followed by Bellows, who tried to sneak one short side. As time was expiring, Vinni Lettieri (Excelsior, Minn.) had a shorthanded chance but was turned aside.
Team USA had a handful of good chances in the opening minutes of the middle period and broke the ice at 8:20 as Nate Schmidt (St. Cloud, Minn.) muscled his way around the boards and found Ben Meyers (Delano, Minn.) who quickly fed it to Andrew Peeke (Parkland, Fla.) at the top of the right circle. Peeke’s shot was deflected by Meyers into the back of the net for a 1-0 lead. The U.S. remained in control in the middle frame and outshot Great Britain, 11-3, however the contest remained at 1-0 through 40 minutes.
The U.S. came out of the gates quickly in the third and scored twice on the power play in the opening 3:41 to take control of the contest. Bellows got his first of the game :58 into the stanza after Adam Gaudette (Braintree, Mass.) picked up a loose puck and wheeled around the net to find Bellows who put it home from a tough angle just above the goal line. Bellows netted his second of the game with a snipe that beat Whistle glove side from the right faceoff dot. Farrell and Schmidt both picked up assists on the goal.
The U.S. controlled the remainder of the period and made it difficult for Great Britain to generate chances. Swayman earned the shutout with 17 saves.
The U.S. returns to play Saturday against Sweden at 12:20 p.m. (5:20 a.m. ET). The game can be seen live on NHL Network.
NOTES: Kieffer Bellows (Edina, Minn.) was named U.S. Player of the Game … The U.S. outshot Great Britain, 38-17 … Team USA was 2-for-5 on the power play, while Great Britain was 0-for-5 … Kieffer Bellows (2-0—2), Sean Farrell (0-2—2) and Nate Schmidt (0-2—2) all recorded multi-point games … For more information about the 2022 IIHF Men’s World Championship, click here.