USA Wins Group A at World Championships

USA Wins Group A at World Championships

Steven Ellis16 May 2017Steven Ellis»
 

The United States of America have won Group A at the World Hockey Championships after beating Russia 5-3 on the final day of round robin competition.

 
 
 
 

The United States of America have won Group A at the World Hockey Championships after beating Russia 5-3 on the final day of round robin competition.

USA dominated the early stages of the game, leading the shots 11-2 at one point. But on Russia's second shot, the team made their opportunity worth it. At 12:29, Bogdan Kiselevich sent Nikita Gusev down the ice for a breakaway. Gusev would then squeak the shot through the legs of Jimmy Howard and in for the 1-0 goal, a lead that looked surprising early on.

USA was pushing and pushing and finally managed to beat Andrei Vasilevsky. Exactly one minute into the second on the power play, Brock Nelson's feed in front of the net landed perfectly on Kevin Hayes' stick. Despite Vasilevsky's best efforts, Nelson fired the puck in the back of the net to tie the game up. 

But six minutes later, defenceman Anton Belov gave Russia their second win of the tournament. This time, the puck moved around to multiple Russian skaters before it came to the point, where the former Edmonton Oilers blueliner stepped into the shot and beat Vasilevsky to make it 2-1.

USA tied it up again at 12:18 in the middle frame. A misplay by Belov and Ivan Provorov at the blueline allowed Nelson to keep the play alive. The New York Islanders forward would then proceed to setting up Dylan Larkin, who would skate into the high slot. Larkin made no mistake with the shot, sending it top corner over Vasilevsky's blocker to tie the contest.

Russia, however, would take the lead back. At 16:15 with the man advantage, Evgeni Dadonov would force a turnover by Jacob Trouba in Russia's zone. Vadim Shipachyov would then get the puck and send an airborne pass to Gusev in front. Before the puck could even settle on the ice, Gusev fired it over Howard and in, taking back Russia's advantage.

But USA wasn't done yet. With just over three minutes to go in the middle stanza, Johnny Gaudreau took advantage of multiple defenders dealing with Nick Bjugstad behind the net, sending a pass over to Hayes who scored while standing all alone, making it 3-3 at the end of two periods.

The Americans had just one lead in the game, but it was the most important one. With eight minutes to go, Gaudreau sent the puck over Belov's stick on the power play, getting it to Anders Lee. Lee only had to easily knock it past Vasilevsky and did just that, scoring the fourth goal for USA. Nelson would send one into the empty net in the final minute, finishing off the 5-3 victory for USA.

With the win, USA has won Group A and will face the bottom seed in Group B in the quarter-finals on Thursday. Russia finished in second place and will play third in Group B.

Follow me on Twitter, @StevenEllisNHL.

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