ST. PETERSBURG, Russia — Frank Vatrano (East Longmeadow, Mass.) and Connor Murphy (Dublin, Ohio) tallied goals for Team USA, but the U.S. Men’s National Team fell to Finland, 3-2, in a preliminary-round game here tonight at the 2016 International Ice Hockey Federation Men's World Championship.
"We like how our team is coming together," said John Hynes, head coach of the U.S. Men's National Team. "It was a fun game to coach. I thought both teams played hard and played well. We're disappointed in the result, but this tournament is a process. We've been together a little more than a week and our guys are playing hard and playing for each other and getting better each time out."
Finland got out to a 1-0 lead when Mikko Koivu's shot from the left circle found the top corner of the net to the far side. Just 2:48 later, Antii Pihlstrom scored in nearly the same spot for a 2-0 Finland advantage.
Team USA pulled to within one at 13:45 when Vatrano skated into Finland’s zone and blasted a slapshot from the top of the left circle. Auston Matthews (Scottsdale, Ariz.) was credited with the lone assist.
The U.S. finished the first period by successfully killing 1:52 of a Finnish power play, the remainder of which carried over to the beginning of the second frame.
Finland and the U.S. traded multiple penalties during a 1:55 span midway through the middle frame, resulting in three brief Team USA power plays and a lengthy four-on-four, but neither team found the back of the net.
Just :53 into the third period, Murphy tied it up with a one-timer on a feed from Pat Maroon (St. Louis, Mo.) from behind the net.
Leo Komarov scored what proved to be the game-winner for Finland on the power play with a tap-in at the right post at 4:16.
With three minutes to play, Matt Hendricks (Blaine, Minn.) had an opportunity to tie the game when he got the puck in the center slot, however, his shot deflected out of play off a Finnish defenseman’s skate.
The U.S. pulled goaltender Mike Condon (Holliston, Mass.), who finished with 19 saves, with 1:15 on the clock for an extra skater, but Team USA was unable to convert.
The U.S. (1-0-0-2-0, W-OTW-OTL-L-T) has two days off before facing France at 9:15 a.m. ET on Thursday (May 12) in its fourth of seven preliminary-round contests. The game will be broadcast live on NBC Sports Network, with a live stream available on NBC Sports Live Extra.
NOTES: For game statistics, click here ... Connor Murphy was named the U.S. Player of the Game ... Team USA will have tomorrow completely off before returning to practice Wednesday morning in preparation for its game Thursday against France ... The U.S. is competing in Group B along with Belarus, Canada, Finland, France, Germany, Hungary and Slovakia.
|May 3||Finland (exhibition)||L, 2-3 OT|
|May 6||Canada||L, 1-5|
|May 7||Belarus||W, 6-3|
|May 9||Finland||L, 2-3|
|May 12||France||W, 4-0|
|May 13||Hungary||W, 5-1|
|May 15||Germany||L, 2-3|
|May 17||Slovakia||L, 2-3 OT|
|May 19||Czech Republic (quarterfinal)||W, 2-1 SO|
Bronze Medal Game