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U.S Tops Slovakia, 6-2, in Men’s Worlds Pre-Tournament Action

By USA Hockey , 05/07/24, 4:30PM EDT


Boldy, Smith record goal and assist

BRATISLAVA, SLOVAKIA - The U.S. Men’s National Team, with 12 different players contributing points, defeated Slovakia, 6-2, here tonight in its lone pre-tournament game ahead of the 2024 IIHF Men’s World Championship. The game was played before a capacity crowd of 9,258 at Ondrej Nepala Arena. 

“First of all, it was a great environment here tonight and a lot of fun for our team to play in front of a crowd like that,” said John Hynes, head coach of the U.S. Men’s National Team. “I thought we played hard and overall, it was a good game for us to have heading into the world championship.” 

Team USA took a 1-0 lead 6:21 into the opening period after Joel Farabee (Cicero, N.Y./Philadelphia Flyers) wristed one home from between the circles off a rebound of Ryan Leonard’s (Amherst, Mass./Boston College) shot from the side of the right circle. Will Smith (Lexington, Mass./Boston College) started the play with a feed to Leonard. 

Matt Boldy (Millis, Mass.) fired one to the back of the net from the right circle after a cross-ice pass from Johnny Gaudreau (Salem, N.J./Columbus Blue Jackets) at 9:43 while on the power play to double the lead. Zach Werenski (Grosse Pointe, Mich./Columbus Blue Jackets) also drew an assist on the play. 


Slovakia got one back on a goal from Juraj Slafkovsky with less than two minutes remaining in the first period. 

Peter Cehárik tied the game at 2-2 just 4:10 into the middle frame, but the U.S. regained the lead just over two minutes later after Mikey Eyssimont (Littleton, Colo./ Tampa Bay Lightning) sank a wraparound goal with Matthew Kessel (Bloomfield Hills, Mich./St. Louis Blues) and Luke Hughes (Canton, Mich./New Jersey Devils) earning assists. 

Brady Tkachuk (St. Louis, Mo./ Ottawa Senators) added to the tally at 9:29 in the third period, capitalizing on a feed across the slot from Hughes. Trevor Zegras (Bedford, N.Y./ Anaheim Ducks) started the play in the neutral zone with a pass up the ice to Hughes. 

Team USA took a 5-2 lead after Smith buried his own rebound off a wrister, assisted by Boldy and Gaudreau. 

Kevin Hayes (Dorchester, Mass./St. Louis Blues) added an empty-net goal with :33 remaining to account for the 6-2 final. 

Goaltender Alex Lyon (Baudette, Minn./ Detroit Red Wings) played the first two periods and made 17 saves on 19 shots, while Trey Augustine (South Lyon, Mich.) made four saves in the final period. 

The U.S. Men’s National Team will open play in the 2024 IIHF Men’s World Championship Friday (May 10) at 8:20 p.m. local/2:20 p.m. ET against Sweden in Ostrava, Czechia. All Team USA games in the world championship will be carried live on NHL Network. 

Notes: Matt Boldy was named Team USA’s Player of the Game... Team USA was 1-2 on the power play, while Slovakia was 0-2 ... The U.S. had a 31-23 advantage in shots on goals. 

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