BRATISLAVA – In a heavyweight tilt that will likely decide the fate of Group A, the classic rivalry of Canada versus the United States was a match up that no one should have expected. It was in 2015 where the Canadians last clashed with the Americans , an instant classic with the Maple Leaf coming back from three goals down to pulling through in Overtime 5-4. This time however, it was the U.S. who pulled out on top in a convincing 8-2 victory.
The heated rivalry between the two nations was in full force to begin the Hockey game, as the two teams combined for 27 minutes worth of penalties in the opening frame, with 9 different players finding themselves in the box, including a 10-minute misconduct from the American’s Derrick Burnett.
Aside from the edgy play from the two teams, there was also a ton of pucks finding themselves at the back of the net. The Red, Blue and White would find themselves convincing 3-0 lead, with goals coming from John Schiavo, Matt White, and Tyler Spezia. It wasn’t until BC native Dave Hammond would find the back of the net to jump start a comeback.
However, that comeback could not come to fruition, as the Americans would tally the next 5 goals coming from Missouri’s Cody Kettler, Travis Noe, Mission Black Ice star P.J. DiMartino, Jack Combs, and Matt White finding his second goal short-handed. Red Deer Alberta native and Player of the Game, Chris Rauckman would score the final goal of the game, making it an 8-2 final, as the Star Spangled Banner would be playing following the final buzzer. In his tournament opener, Goaltender Troy Redmann was stellar in net for Team USA making 20 saves, earning himself Player of the Game.
With this victory, the Americans can now clinch Group A with a win tomorrow against Croatia 8 A.M. EST. If that is the case, they would play the 4th place finisher in Group B in the Quarter-Final Match up. The Canadians will now play the Host’s Slovakia, tomorrow morning at 12 P.M. EST, and with a win the Red and White would clinch second in Group A, with a date with the 3rd place finisher of Group B.
-The total penalty minutes for the hockey game was 32 minutes, 20 for the Americans and 12 for the Canadians.
-Mission Labeda Snipers Star Matt White led the way with 3 points, while 5 different players for the Americans had multi-point games.
-Brett Leggat made 12 stops in the loss to the Americans.