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U.S. Tops Canada, 5-4, To Open MWC Prelims With Shootout Win

By, 05/04/18, 9:00AM EDT


Atkinson scores twice in shootout; U.S. meets host Denmark tomorrow at 2:15 p.m. ET

HERNING, Denmark -- Cam Atkinson (Riverside, Conn.) netted both goals in the shootout and Dylan Larkin (Waterford, Mich.) scored twice in regulation as the 2018 U.S. Men's National Team earned a 5-4 shootout victory over Canada here tonight in its first preliminary round game of the 2018 International Ice Hockey Federation Men's World Championship.

"This was a great way to kick off the tournament," said Jeff Blashill, head coach of the 2018 U.S. Men's National Team. "We started a little slow, but I think once we got our feet under us we proved we could compete. There were some great performances by our guys tonight and we'll look to build on this as we move forward."

The U.S. will return to action tomorrow (May 5) against Denmark at 8:15 p.m. local time /2:15 p.m. ET. That game, along with all U.S. Men's World Championship games, will be broadcast live on NHL Network. 

Canada took the lead 47 seconds into the game when Pierre-Luc Dubois lifted a quick wrist shot over the glove of Keith Kinkaid (Farmingville, N.Y.).

Will Butcher (Sun Prairie, Wis.) nearly evened the score with eight minutes remaining but saw his shot from the blue line ring off the post and away from goal. Less than 30 seconds later, Canada doubled its lead when an initial shot redirected into the slot where Ryan O’Reilly was able to tap it into the goal with 7:37 left in the period.

Team USA cut Canada’s lead to one just 1:36 later when Anders Lee (Edina, Minn.) skated in on goal and fired a wrist shot over the right shoulder of Darcy Kuemper. The play started in the neutral zone where Tage Thompson (Milford, Conn.) dished the puck off the wall to Lee who skated down the ice for a two-on-one opportunity with Neal Pionk (Germantown, Minn.) before shooting and scoring Team USA’s first goal of the tournament.

Forty-three seconds into the middle stanza, Larkin slammed home a bouncing puck in the crease to even the score, 2-2. 

Johnny Gaudreau (Salem, N.J.) gave the U.S. its first lead of the game at the 10 -minute mark when he took a cross-ice pass from captain Patrick Kane (Buffalo, N.Y.) and tucked it under Kuemper’s right arm and inside the post. 

With 2:07 to play in the frame, Anthony Beauvillier found a loose puck and beat Kinkaid to bring the score to 3-3 entering the final stanza.

The U.S. again regained a one-goal lead 3:27 into the period when Larkin tallied his second goal of the game off a pass from Chris Kreider (Boxford, Mass.).

Canada tied the game near the midway point of the period behind a goal by Colton Parayko.

Both teams exchanged scoring opportunities throughout the remaining time in the third period, but the game remained knotted, 4-4, at the end of the regulation.

After the extra five-minute three-on-three period failed to decide a winner, the teams entered a five-round shootout. There, Atkinson scored on Team USA’s first scoring attempt before Canada’s Jordan Eberle tallied to even the shootout, 1-1. After neither team’s four other shooters were able to convert, the shootout entered a sixth round where both Atkinson and Eberle were called on again. There, Atkinson scored and Kinkaid denied Eberle for the 5-4 win. 

Kinkaid made 40 saves on 44 shots in the victory.

NOTES: Keith Kinkaid was named the U.S. Player of the Game ... For complete game stats, click here ... The initial 23-player roster can be found here ... Jeff Blashill (Detroit Red Wings) is serving as head coach for the second straight year ... The staff and players of the 2018 U.S. Men's National Team are selected by Bill Zito (Columbus Blue Jackets), general manager of the 2018 U.S. Men's National Team along with members of the U.S. Men's National Team Advisory Group that includes Stan Bowman (Chicago Blackhawks), David Poile (Nashville Predators), Ray Shero (New Jersey Devils), Dale Tallon (Florida Panthers), and Jeff Gorton (New York Rangers) ... For complete coverage of the U.S. Men’s National Team, visit … The official online home of the 2018 IIHF Men’s World Championship is … The U.S. has finished in the top four of the world championship in three of the last five years ... USA Hockey's international council, chaired by Gavin Regan (Potsdam, N.Y.), has oversight responsibilities for all U.S. national teams.


Postgame Comments

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Pre-Game Info

U.S. Roster

U.S. Homepage

U.S. Schedule

Date Opponent Round Result Location
Tues., May 1 Denmark Exhibition W, 3-2 KVIK Hockey Arena
Herning, Denmark
Fri., May 4 Canada Preliminary W, 5-4 (SO) Jyske Bank Boxen
Herning, Denmark
Sat., May 5 Denmark Preliminary W, 4-0 Jyske Bank Boxen
Herning, Denmark
Mon., May 7 Germany Preliminary W, 3-0 Jyske Bank Boxen
Herning, Denmark
Thurs., May 10 Latvia Preliminary W, 3-2 (OT) Jyske Bank Boxen
Herning, Denmark
Fri., May 11 Korea Preliminary W, 13-1 Jyske Bank Boxen
Herning, Denmark
Sun., May 13 Norway Preliminary W, 9-3 Jyske Bank Boxen
Herning, Denmark
Tues., May 15 Finland Preliminary L, 2-6 Jyske Bank Boxen
Herning, Denmark
Thurs., May 17 Czech Republic Quarterfinals W, 3-2 Jyske Bank Boxen
Herning, Denmark
Sat., May 19 Sweden Semifinals L, 0-6 Royal Arena
Copenhagen, Denmark
Sun., May 20 Canada Bronze-Medal Game W, 4-1 Royal Arena
Copenhagen, Denmark

2018 Men's Worlds News