TAMPERE, Finland – Cutter Gauthier (Scottsdale, Ariz.), Alex Tuch (Baldwinsville, N.Y.) and Rocco Grimaldi (Rossmoor, Calif.) scored third-period goals and Casey DeSmith (Rochester, N.H.) made 22 saves to lift the U.S. Men’s National Team to a 3-0 win over Denmark here today in preliminary round play at the 2023 IIHF Men’s World Championship.
The U.S. is now 5-0 and is just the fourth U.S. team ever in the men’s world championship to win its first five contests.
“I thought we played as complete of a game as we have since our opening game against Finland,” said David Quinn, head coach of the U.S. Men’s National Team. “It was an important victory and now we need to get some rest and be ready for the next challenge against France tomorrow.”
Mikey Eyssimont (Littleton, Colo.) nearly staked the U.S. to a lead midway through the opening stanza but his shot rang off the crossbar. Team USA had a pair of power plays in the stanza but was unable to convert. DeSmith kept Denmark at bay, including making a nifty save on a shorthanded backhand chance with just more than five minutes to play the period.
Gauthier and T.J. Tynan (Orland Park, Ill.) had a great chance just past the five-minute mark of the second off a rebound, but the shot went just wide. Oscar Mølgaard had an opportunity moments later to give Denmark the lead on a breakaway but lost the puck just before he was able to get the shot off.
The U.S. had to kill off three penalties in the opening half of the third period, including almost a minute of a 5-on-3 opportunity, and its penalty kill came through with flying colors.
Team USA took the lead on a power play of its own at 9:51 of the final stanza as Gauthier capitalized with a blast from the right circle. Tynan sent the puck to Tuch at the goal line to start the play and Tuch went across the grain to find Gauthier.
Tuch put the U.S. 2-0 with 5:30 to play, burying a drop pass from Grimaldi from the right circle. Scott Perunovich (Hibbing, Minn.) also earned an assist on the goal.
Grimaldi rounded out the scoring with an empty-net goal with 41 seconds left after Alex Tuch fed him the puck on a play that he could have scored himself on.
The U.S. continues preliminary round play in the 2023 IIHF Men’s World Championship tomorrow (May 21) against France with puck drop set for 8:20 p.m. local time/1:20 p.m. ET and the game can be seen live on NHL Network.
NOTES: Cutter Gauthier was named the U.S. Player of the Game … The U.S. was 1-3 on the power play, while Denmark was 0-3 … The U.S. outshot Denmark by a 36-22 count … Cutter Gauthier finished with nine shots on goal, the most of any player in the contest … Nick Bonino won 13-of-17 faceoffs in the contest (.765).