HELSINKI, Finland - Justin Faulk (South St. Paul, Minn./Carolina Hurricanes/University of Minnesota Duluth) and Paul Stastny (St. Louis, Mo./Colorado Avalanche/University of Denver) each tallied a goal, but the U.S. Men's National Team fell to Slovakia, 4-2, here tonight in preliminary round play at the 2012 International Ice Hockey Federation Men's World Championship at Hartwell Arena.
"I thought they won the game in the first period" said Scott Gordon, head coach of the U.S. Men's National Team. "We got better as the game wore on and battled. We get a couple of days rest and need be ready to go on Thursday."
Slovakia took a 1-0 lead 47 seconds into the game and added another marker at 15:04 of the first period. Faulk made it a one-goal game 37 seconds later with a blast from the point at 15:41. Kyle Okposo (St. Paul, Minn./New York Islanders/University of Minnesota) and Jim Slater (Lapeer, Mich./Winnipeg Jets/Michigan State University) collected assists on the tally. Slovakia, however, regained its two-goal lead with six seconds remaining in the frame and led 3-1 after 20 minutes.
Team USA capitalized on a 5-on-3 power play late in the second period to cut the deficit to 3-2. Cam Fowler (Farmington Hills, Mich./Anaheim Ducks) took a shot from the point that missed wide but went behind the net to Max Pacioretty (New Canaan, Conn./Montreal Canadiens/University of Michigan). Pacioretty found Stastny open at the side of the crease and he slid the puck under Slovakia goaltender Jan Larco at 18:47.
The U.S. hit the post on three occasions in the third period, but was unable to find the game-tying goal. Slovakia sealed the game with an empty-net goal with 37 seconds remaining. Jimmy Howard (Syracuse, N.Y./Detroit Red Wings/University of Maine) made 28 saves for the U.S., while Laco made 18 saves for Slovakia.
The U.S. Men's National Team has two days off before resuming Group H play on Thursday (May 10) against Belarus. Faceoff is 4:15 p.m. local time (9:15 a.m. EDT). The game will be broadcast live on NBC Sports Network and scoring updates will be available on Twitter. Use the hashtag #2012MWC to join the conversation surrounding the tournament.
NOTES: Through two games, Team USA is 5-for-12 on the power play and has killed all nine opponent power plays … Paul Stastny, who scored Team USA's second goal of the game and won 12-of-18 faceoffs, was named Team USA's Player of the Game ... Defenseman Jack Johnson is the captain of Team USA. The alternate captains are forwards Jim Slater and Nate Thompson ... Twenty of the 23 members of Team USA played U.S. college hockey ... Six of the 23 players announced are products of USA Hockey's National Team Development Program, including Joey Crabb, Justin Faulk, Cam Fowler, Jimmy Howard, Jack Johnson and Kyle Palmieri ... Fourteen NHL teams are represented on the roster. The Anaheim Ducks lead the way with three, while the Carolina Hurricanes, Columbus Blue Jackets, Dallas Stars, Detroit Red Wings and Tampa Bay Lightning have two players apiece ... Scott Gordon is the head coach of the 2012 U.S. Men's National Team. Greg Cronin and David Quinn are serving as assistant coaches ... The 2012 U.S. Men’s National Team is under the direction of the U.S. Men’s National Team Advisory Group, led by Jim Johannson, assistant executive director of hockey operations for USA Hockey. Other members include NHL general managers Stan Bowman (Chicago), Brian Burke (Toronto), Paul Holmgren (Philadelphia), Dean Lombardi (Los Angeles), David Poile (Nashville), Ray Shero (Pittsburgh) and Dale Tallon (Florida) and Pittsburgh Penguins pro scout Don Waddell ... USA Hockey's international council, chaired by Tony Rossi, vice president of USA Hockey, has oversight responsibilities for all U.S. national teams ... Sixteen teams will compete at 2012 IIHF Men's World Championship. There are two groups of eight with one group playing in Helsinki, Finland, and the other playing in Stockholm, Sweden. The semifinals and medal games will be conducted in Helsinski ... NBC Sports is televising all Team USA games in the 2012 IIHF Men's World Championship.
Scoring By Period
USA 1 - 1- 0- 2
SVK 3 - 0- 1- 4
First Period – Scoring: 1, SVK, Granak (Hudacek), 0:47; 2, SVK, Radivojevic (Kopecky, Handzus), 15:04; 3, USA, Faulk (Okposo, Slater), 15:41; 4, SVK, Sekera (Bliznak), 19:54. Penalties: None.
Second Period – Scoring: 5, USA, Stastny (Pacioretty, Fowler), 18:47, (5x3 pp). Penalties: SVK, Starosta (tripping), 18:14; SVK, Bartovic (slashing), 18:28.
Third Period – Scoring: 6, SVK, Satan, 19:23, (en). Penalties: USA, Atkinson (high-sticking, double minor), 4:47; SVK, Sekera (tripping), 11:10; USA, Howard (tripping), 11:28.
Shots by Period 1 2 3 Total
USA 9 7 4 20
SVK 15 10 7 32
Goaltenders (SH/SV) 1 2 3 Total
USA, Howard, 59:32 15/12 10/10 6/6 31/28
SVK, Laco, 60:00 9/8 7/6 4/4 20/18
Power Play: USA 1-3; SVK 0-3
Penalties: USA 3-6; SVK 3-6
Tag(s): 2012 World Championship