ST. PETERSBURG, Russia — Mike Condon (Holliston, Mass.) made 19 saves and four U.S. players scored, including three defensemen, as the U.S. Men’s National Team blanked France, 4-0, here tonight in the preliminary round of the 2016 International Ice Hockey Federation’s Men’s World Championship.
"We really had to work hard for that one," said John Hynes, head coach of Team USA. "We knew going in it would be a difficult game and that proved to be the case. We wanted our guys to be persistent in the offensive zone and during the course of the game, fortunately, those efforts paid off."
The U.S. and France each had two power plays in the opening 20 minutes, but neither team could find the back of the net thanks to solid goaltending by both Condon and France netminder Florian Hardy.
With 6:30 to play in the second frame, the U.S. had its third power play power play opportunity after a France delay of game penalty. Chris Wideman (St. Louis, Mo.) fired one home :53 into the man advantage after a nice feed from Nick Foligno (Buffalo, N.Y.) for what would prove to be the game-winning goal.
Just 2:07 later, Auston Matthews (Scottsdale, Ariz.) skated the puck around the offensive zone through multiple French players and fed Connor Murphy (Dublin, Ohio) at the blue line for a slap shot that doubled Team USA’s lead.
A one-timer by JT Compher (Northbrook, Ill.) from the right side made it 3-0 with five seconds remaining in the period after captain Matt Hendricks (Blaine, Minn.) battled French defenders along the side boards and fed Compher.
The final goal of the game came just 1:19 into the third period as Brady Skjei (Lakeville, Minn.) got the puck at the right point, walked in and blasted it past Hardy.
The U.S. (2-0-0-2-0, W-OTW-OLT-L-T) returns to action tomorrow (May 13) at 9:15 a.m. ET when it takes on Hungary in the fifth of seven preliminary-round games. The game will air on a 30-minute tape delay on NBC Sports Network, and a live stream will be available on NBC Sports Live Extra.
NOTES: Mike Condon was named the U.S. Player of the Game ... Ten players recorded points for Team USA, led by a two-assist effort from Dylan Larkin ... The U.S. outshot France, 31-19, including by an 8-2 count in the third period ... The U.S. was 1-4 on the power play while France was 0-6 ... For complete game statistics, click here ... 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