IIHF Men’s World Championship Tournament Game Recap: Team USA vs Team Kazakhstan | 05/19/2024

Photo Credit: USA Hockey

The United States and Kazakhstan have only crossed paths a mere four times, with Team USA claiming victory in all encounters, including two hard-fought matches that had gone into overtime. Their most recent clash was during the preliminary round of the 2021 men’s world championship, resulting in a decisive 3-0 win for the U.S. Team USA is coming off a 4-1 win over Poland on Friday (May 17), while Kazakhstan dropped an 8-2 decision to Germany on Friday in its latest outing.

Johnny Gaudreau, in his fifth IIHF Men’s World Championship, is chasing the record for the most career points and assists in the U.S. World Championship archives. Brock Nelson, also competing in his fifth men’s world championship, stands on the brink of surpassing the record for most goals scored by an American in the world championship, needing just two more goals to achieve this milestone.

Charlie Lindgren, the goaltender for the Washington Capitals, was recently included in the U.S. Men’s National Team roster. Anticipated to reach Ostrava on Sunday, Lindgren boasted a record of 25 wins and 20 losses in the 54 games he played this season with the Capitals. His performance showcased a commendable 2.74 goals-against average alongside a solid .916 save percentage. Lindgren was a member of the 2018 U.S. Men’s National Team that clinched the bronze medal at the world championship, although he did not see playing time during that tournament. Lindgren takes the place of Alex Lyon, who got injured earlier in the tournament.

Starting Goaltenders:

USA – Alex Nedeljkovic

KAZ – Nikita Boyarkin

1st Period

The U.S. seized a quick 1-0 lead only 4 minutes and 37 seconds into the game. A pass from Luke Hughes from inside the defensive blue line found Brock Nelson on the opposite side of the ice in the neutral zone. Following Nelson’s initial shot hitting the far post, Matt Boldy promptly capitalized on the rebound to score. Team USA leads Team Kazakhstan by a score of 1-0.

Artyom Korolyov was called for interference, sending Team USA on the Powerplay. Brady Tkachuk took advantage and extended Team USA’s lead by deflecting a one-timer from the center point delivered by Zach Werenski. Gaudreau contributed with the secondary assist in this play (7:16). The Americans are now ahead by a score of 2-0.

Nelson capitalized on the rebound from a shot by Jake Sanderson from the center point, securing a 3-0 lead for Team USA (16:50). Jake Sanderson and Boldy were on the assist. Nelson’s goal marked his 19th goal in the men’s world championship, matching Russell Johnson as the highest-scoring American in the world championship tournament.

Tkachuk scored his second goal of the game in the closing minutes of the first period, capitalizing on a power play opportunity after Kirill Savitsky (KAZ) was snagged for hooking. Tkachuk converted on the rebound from a Werenski shot assisted by Gaudreau, extending Team USA’s lead to 4-0 after 20 minutes in regulation.

2nd Period

The United States managed to score two goals within the first 3 minutes and 32 seconds of the second period, further solidifying the American’s lead. Gavin Brindley netted his first goal of the tournament, finding the net following the laser shot from Matthew Kessel (1:39).

Shortly after, Boldy netted his second goal during a power play, supported by Gaudreau’s third assist of the match. Luke Kunin then secured his first goal of the tournament with a precise shot from the high slot, thanks to a backhand pass from Boldy. Team USA’s lead jumped to 7-0 at the conclusion of the second period.

3rd Period

Kazakhstan would replace Boyarkin in the net, sending Andrei Shutov between the pipes for the final frame. Maxim Mukhametov (KAZ) received a penalty for tripping at 4:07 in the 3rd period, putting the Americans on the Powerplay. With the man advantage, Tkachuk got his hat trick, scoring a power-play goal with assistance from Boldy and Gaudreau. The Americans now lead by a score of 8-0.

Shortly after, Kevin Hayes redirected a shot from Jeff Petry, increasing the U.S. lead to 9-0 (5:42). Kazakhstan would break the shutout bid for Team USA, however, when Alikhan Omirbekov got the puck past Nedeljkovic to bring the score to 9-1, with the Americans still holding on to a commanding lead (6:57).

Gaudreau would put another puck into the net, solidifying his status as the all-time leading American scorer in men’s world competition with his 43rd point. Boldy was credited with the assist, his sixth point of the game (10:06).

Team USA dominated Team Kazakhstan, securing the win with a final score of 10-1, and now sit at the second spot in Group B.

Notes:

  • Johnny Gaudreau was named the U.S. Player of the Game
  • Team USA was 4-7 on the power play, while Kazakhstan was 0-2.
  • Twelve different players tallied points for Team USA, with six players on the team recording multi-point games.
  • Brock Nelson tied a 75-year-old record, potting his 19th World Championship goal for Team USA. Nelson shares the top spot with Bruce Mather, who blasted 19 goals in the 1949 championship. Buzz Johnson also got to 19 goals for his country in the 1950s.
  • Gavin Brindley and Luke Kunin both scored their first tournament goals in today’s game.
  • Team USA outshot KAZ 58-14.
    • Period 1: USA – 20; KAZ – 5
    • Period 2: USA – 25; KAZ – 4
    • Period 3: USA – 13; KAZ – 5

Record Breaking Day for Johnny Gaudreau

  • Gaudreau’s last goal in the game marked his 43rd point, establishing a new all-time career American points record in Men’s World Championship hockey.
  • Gaudreau’s assist in the 3rd period was his 30th assist, making him the leader in IIHF Men’s World Championship assists by an American, a record previously held by Patrick Kane.

Top Three Players of the Game:

  1. Boldy – 6 points (2G, 4A),
  2. Gaudreau – 5 points (1G, 4A),
  3. Tkachuk – 4 points (3G, 1A)

Highlights:

Team USA will have their next matchup on Tuesday, May 21st, when they face Team Latvia.

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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