TAMPERE, Finland – Cutter Gauthier (Scottsdale, Ariz.) had three goals and an assist, T.J. Tynan (Orland Park, Ill.) recorded a goal and three assists and Cal Petersen (Waterloo, Iowa) and Drew Commesso (Norwell, Mass.) finished with a combined 13 saves as the U.S. Men’s National Team bested France, 9-0, here tonight in its sixth preliminary round game of the 2023 IIHF Men’s World Championship.
The U.S. is now 6-0 and just the second American team ever to win its first six games in the world championship, joining the 2018 squad.
“I thought we played a solid game overall,” said David Quinn, head coach of the U.S. Men’s National Team. “We’ll enjoy this one and get ready for what will be a big test on Tuesday against Sweden.”
Drew O'Connor (Chatham, N.J.) got the U.S. on the board at the 6:03 mark of the opening stanza, burying a one-timer from the bottom of the right circle off a backdoor pass from Conor Garland (Scituate, Mass.).
Gauthier added a second just more than five-and-a-half minutes later, going five-hole off a perfectly placed stretch pass from Scott Perunovich (Hibbing, Minn.).
Tynan gave the U.S. a 3-0 advantage 2:19 later after Gauthier forced a turnover at the point and Tynan came flying into the zone from the bench and flipped the puck over the shoulder of French goaltender Sebastian Ylönen.
Team USA headed to the power play just :41 into the middle stanza and Gauthier capitalized from the right circle at 1:31 with Perunovich and Tynan drawing assists.
The U.S. scored five times in the final period. O'Connor started the scoring at 2:22 with the teams skating 4-on-4, forcing a turnover at the point and burying the puck on the doorstep.
Perunovich made it 6-0 just past the 5:00 mark, going short side off a feed from Matt Coronato (Greenlawn, N.Y.) across the grain. Anders Bjork (Mequon, Wis.) earned an assist as well.
Rocco Grimaldi (Rossmoor, Calif.) was the next to find the back of the net, tipping the puck home at the 7:07 mark. Coronato and Nick Perbix (Elk River, Minn.) were each credited with helpers.
The Garland, Gauthier and Tynan trio combined for the final two goals, with a wrister from Garland at 8:36 and a hat-trick goal from Gauthier at 13:48.
Petersen played the opening 47:49 and stopped all 12 shots he faced, while Commesso had one save in the final 13:11.
The U.S., which has clinched a top-two finish in Group A and a spot in the quarterfinals, will finish preliminary round play in the 2023 IIHF Men’s World Championship Tuesday (May 23) against Sweden with puck drop set for 4:20 p.m. local time/9:20 a.m. ET and the game can be seen live on NHL Network.
NOTES: Cutter Gauthier was named U.S. Player of the Game … The U.S. was 1-3 on the power play, while France was 0-3 … The U.S. outshot France by a 44-13 count … Nine different U.S. players contributed points, including multi-point games from Cutter Gauthier (3-1—4), T.J. Tynan (1-3—4), Conor Garland (1-2—3), Scott Perunovich (1-2—3), Drew O’Connor (2-0—2), and Matt Coronato (0-2—2) … Matt Coronato won 10-of-11 faceoffs in the contest (.909).