IIHF Men’s World Championship Tournament Game Recap: Team USA | 05/10/2024 – 5/11/2024

Photo Credit INTERNATIONAL ICE HOCKEY FEDERATION (IIHF)

The United States has competed in 509 world championship games through the 2023 championship, holding a record of 225 wins, 19 overtime wins, 11 overtime losses, 219 losses, and 35 ties. In the most recent 2023 IIHF Men’s World Championship, the U.S. achieved a record of 7 wins, 1 overtime win, 2 overtime losses, and 0 losses, finishing in fourth place.

The U.S. has secured 13 podium finishes, including one gold medal in 1933, four silver medals in 1950, 1939, 1934, and 1931, and eight bronze medals in 2021, 2018, 2015, 2013, 2004, 1996, 1952, and 1949. The U.S. has medaled in four of the last eight IIHF Men’s World Championships, marking its most successful medal streak since 1931-1947.

Days prior to the start of the tournament, Brady Tkachuk was appointed as the captain of the 2024 U.S. team, marking his debut in the IIHF Men’s World Hockey Championship. This season, Tkachuk scored a career-best 37 goals and provided 37 assists in 81 games with the Senators. Tkachuk previously led the U.S. team to a gold medal victory at the 2017 IIHF UA18 Men’s World Championship.

After the preliminary round, the top four in each eight-team group will advance to the quarterfinals.

Friday, May 10, 2024 – Team USA vs Team Sweden

Goaltenders:

USA – Alex Lyon

SWE – Filip Gustavsson

Sweden would get the first goal on the board in the first period as Joel Eriksson Ek executed a wrist shot from the slot, surpassing Alex Lyon’s stick side (8:20). Tim Heed and Markus Johansson were both credited on the assist. Sweden would end the period 1-0 over Team USA.

Going into the second, Team USA remained determined and came close to equalizing the game within the first minute of the second frame. However, a powerful shot by Seth Jones struck the post, narrowly missing the net. Lucas Raymond would then extend Sweden’s lead by placing a wrist shot into the top corner of the net. On the assist were Victor Hedman and Eriksson Ek. Sweden leads now 2-0 (3:45).

At 9:06, Johansson takes the penalty for holding, sending Team USA on the Powerplay. However, the Americans are unable to convert on the man advantage as we returned to full strength. Team USA reacted with a second-period goal from Zach Werenski. Matt Boldy carried the puck into Sweden’s zone and delivered a pass to Seth Jones, who then assisted Werenski with a pinpoint shot from the top of the circle into the top corner of the net. Team USA still trailed Sweden by a score of 2-1 (12:32). Shortly thereafter, Hedman blew a tire at the blue line, giving Joel Farabee a breakaway opportunity. Gustavsson executed a remarkable pad save and kept Team USA from putting one on the scoreboard. Sweden quickly re-established their two-goal lead when Marcus Johansson scored minutes later with Holmberg and Marcus Pettersson on the assist. The score is now 3-1 in favor of Team Sweden (16:39).

In the third period, Brock Nelson added another goal for the U.S., capitalizing on a shot from the slot assisted by Johnny Gaudreau from just behind the net. Alex Vlasic also contributed to the play. Sweden is ahead by a score of 3-2 (3:43).

Throughout the game, the Swedes had demonstrated impressive defensive abilities. However, they faced a challenging moment towards the end of the third frame when Eriksson Ek was penalized for boarding, leading the Americans to then pull Lyon from the net to gain a two-player advantage. However, Sweden sealed the win with two empty-net goals. The first was a shorthanded goal scored by Victor Hedman (19:01), with Holmberg and Kempe on the assist, and later by Eriksson Ek, unassisted (19:54).

Team Sweden secured the victory over Team USA with a final score of 5-2.

Shots on Goal:

  • First Period: SWE – 12; USA – 7
  • Second Period: SWE – 12; USA – 7
  • Third Period: SWE – 14; USA – 12

Top Three Players of the Game:

  • Eriksson EK- 3 points (2g, 1a)
  • Hedman – 2 points (1g, 1a)
  • Johansson – 2 points (2a)

Notes:

Both goalies made their men’s tournament debuts with this first preliminary round game for Group B. Alex Lyon, who has been in the NHL since 2017 despite being undrafted, played his first game representing the USA. Meanwhile, Filip Gustavsson, who was the third goalie at the 2018 World Championship, also made his starting debut. Gustavsson had previously played for the U18 and U20 teams earlier in his career.

Saturday. May 11, 2024 – Team USA vs Team Germany

Goaltenders:

USA – Alex Lyon

GER – Mathias Niederberger

In the first frame, the Americans put the Germans on the Powerplay after Cole Caulfield was penalized for tripping (9:34). However, they managed to effectively defend against the penalty, preventing the Germans from scoring. Brady Tkachuk gave the Americans a 1-0 lead by deflecting a shot from Kesselring at the point using his stick. Ryan Leonard was also credited with the assist on the goal (12:15). Defenseman Kesselring scored on a breakaway, extending the lead to 2-0 at 17:20. Brock Nelson and Johnny Gaudreau assisted in setting up that goal.

After Alex Lyon suffered an injury in a chaotic scramble in the U.S. crease, Trey Augustine stepped in as the goaltender for the U.S. team at 3:27. Moments after entering the game, Augustine encountered his first challenge – a breakaway by Yasin Ehliz, who seized a loose puck at the center and advanced on the U.S. net. Augustine rose to the occasion, showcasing a superb pad save to mark the beginning of his 2024 tournament.

Colin Ugbekile of Team Germany headed to the penalty box for tripping, sending Team USA on the Powerplay. With the man advantage, Team USA would ramp things up once more as Gaudreau would push the score to 3-0 in favor of the Americans. Both Boldy and Caulfield joined the action, as each got credit on the assist (12:23).

The Germans would get on the board as Yasin Ehliz would get past Augustine and found the back of the net (14:05). However, the Americans would maintain their momentum with Luke Hughes’s late-period goal with Caulfield and Shane Pinto on the assist (19:57), Team USA is now ahead by a score of 4-1.

Team USA’s dominance persisted into the third period, with Trevor Zegras scoring the second Powerplay goal for the Americans at 10:09 after Tobias Fohrler was penalized for Holding the Stick. Pinto and Seth Jones were on the assist that put the Americans ahead by a score of 5-1.

Later Michael Eyssimont would be the contributing to the scoreline as he put the puck past the German goalie at 12:28 in the third period, assisted by Luke Kunin and Seth Jones. With a score of 6-2, the Americans secured the victory over the Germans.

Notes:

The depth of the U.S. team shone through with six different players scoring goals in the game, despite the strong goalkeeping skills of German goalie Mathias Niederberger, who delivered an outstanding performance in his tournament debut. The American team made a remarkable recovery from their underwhelming display the previous day.

Alex Lyon successfully defended against all 14 shots aimed at him by Germany before Trey Augustine took over 3:27 into the second period due to an injury. Augustine then made 11 saves during his time in the net. After two games, Lyon currently holds a save percentage of 94.00% and a 2.20 goals-against average (GAA), while Augustine has a save percentage of 91.67% and a 1.64 GAA.

Thirteen players tallied at least one point in the game against Germany.

Shots on Goal:

  • First Period: USA – 13; GER – 10
  • Second Period: USA – 13; GER – 10
  • Third Period: USA – 13; GER – 10

Top Three Players of the Game:

  • Gaudreau – 2 points (1g, 1a)
  • Kesselring – 2 points (1g, 1a)
  • Pinto – 2 points (2a)

The Americans are set to face Slovakia in their next tournament match of the preliminary round on Monday afternoon.

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Karen Zehner

Credentialed Beat Writer covering the ECHL Atlanta Gladiators. Diving into the world of slap shots, penalty kills, and the game we love. [@RunwithK] on socials.

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