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Team USA Tops Latvia 6-3 in Final Preliminary Round Game at Men’s Worlds

By USA Hockey, 05/21/24, 1:45PM EDT


Caufield With Four Points; U.S. Advances to Thursday’s Quarterfinals

OSTRAVA, Czechia – Cole Caufield (Stevens Points, Wis./Montreal Canadiens) had two goals and two assists and Matt Boldy (Millis, Mass./Minnesota Wild) and Brady Tkachuk (St. Louis, Mo./Ottawa Senators) each had a goal and an assist to help propel the U.S. Men’s National Team to a 6-3 victory here today in its final preliminary round game of the 2024 IIHF Men’s World Championship.  

The win was the fourth straight for Team USA, which will play in the tournament quarterfinals on Thursday (May 23) against Czechia in Prague at 8:20 p.m. local/2:20 p.m. ET. The game can be seen live on NHL Network..

“I liked our compete level and how we came out of the gate right away,” said John Hynes (Warwick, R.I.), head coach of the 2024 U.S. Men’s National Team. “Our penalty kill was exceptional and I thought Charlie (Lindgren) did a nice job for us in net. It was a good game to have heading into the quarterfinals on Thursday.”

Just 1:23 into the contest, Team USA took a 1-0 lead after Caufield forced a neutral-zone turnover before finding Tkachuk with a drop pass at the top of the right circle, who capitalized with a top-shelf laser. 

Team USA appeared to take a 2-0 lead just more than a minute later. Mikey Eyssimont (Littleton, Colo./Tampa Bay Lightning) had three or four chances at the goalmouth before Gavin Brindley (Estero, Fla./Columbus Blue Jackets) banged in the loose puck, but after a Latvian challenge, the goal was disallowed.

Zach Werenski (Grosse Pointe, Mich.) doubled Team USA’s lead with 6:40 remaining in the first after he received a feed from Caufield in the slot and beat Latvian goaltender Kristers Gudlevskis with a nifty deke and backhand finish.

At the 2:34 mark of the middle stanza, Caufield gave the U.S. a 3-0 lead while on the power play with a wrist shot into the top right corner off a no-look feed from Boldy.


Renars Krastenbergs got Latvia on the board just a minute later when he capitalized with a wrist shot on an odd-man rush to make it a 3-1 game.  The U.S. killed off a full two-minute five-on-three Latvia power play late in the second period to preserve a 3-1 advantage after 40 minutes.

Just 15 seconds into the third, Boldy slid a back-hand shot from the slot five-hole to put Team USA up 4-1. Werenski and Seth Jones (Frisco, Texas/Chicago Blackhawks) picked up helpers on the play. 

Latvia’s Eduards Tralmaks scored off a rebound at the 4:44 mark, and just 16 seconds later Roberts Mamcics made it a one-goal game after capitalizing with a shot from the point that deflected off a U.S. stick before finding the back of the net. 

Team USA regained a two-goal advantage when Caufield buried a short-side snipe off a wraparound for his second tally of the game with 11:14 to play.

Joel Farabee (Cicero, N.Y./Philadelphia Flyers) added an empty net goal in the final minute to account for the 6-3 final score. 

Charlie Lindgren (Lakeville, Minn./Washington Capitals) made 27 saves in net to pick up the victory. 

With the win, the U.S. wraps up preliminary round play with a 5-0-1-1 (W-OTW-OTL-L) record, ranking second in Group B with 16 points. Team USA will play in the quarterfinals Thursday (May 23), live on NHL Network. Quarterfinal matchups, times and game locations will be known after the final preliminary round games of the day.

NOTES: Matt Boldy was named U.S. Player of the Game … Team USA outshot Latvia 43-30 … The U.S. was 1-3 on the power play, while Latvia was 0-6 ... Team USA has yet to give up a power play goal through seven games of the world championship

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