|Stastny Notches Four Points (2-2); Smith Adds Five Assists|
HELSINKI – Team USA captain Paul Stastny (St. Louis, Mo./Colorado Avalanche/Univ. of Denver) had two goals and two assists, while Craig Smith (Madison, Wis./Nashville Predators/Univ. of Wisconsin) recorded five assists to lead the U.S. Men’s National Team to an 8-3 victory over Russia here today in the quarterfinal round of the 2013 International Ice Hockey Federation Men’s World Championship.
“We played a really good game and I’m proud of our team,” said Joe Sacco, head coach of the U.S. Men’s National Team. “I thought our goaltender made a couple of big saves early to keep it scoreless and then we were able to get the lead and keep it. We scored timely goals today and got contributions from everyone up and down our lineup. We beat a very good hockey team and we’re excited now to move over to Stockholm.”
Team USA struck first when Smith spun off the end boards and found Stastny open in front for his fifth goal of the tournament at 11:53. Fifty seconds later, T.J. Oshie (Warroad, Minn./St. Louis Blues/Univ. of North Dakota) fired a shot through goaltender Ilya Bryzgalov from the right faceoff dot, making it 2-0. Tim Stapleton (La Grange, Ill./Dynamo Minsk/Univ. of Minnesota Duluth) stole the puck in the neutral zone to setup Oshie.
Russia’s Alexander Svitov scored on a line rush at 15:30, cutting USA’s lead to 2-1.
Nate Thompson (Anchorage, Alaska/Tampa Bay Lightning) reestablished Team USA’s two-goal lead 5:45 into the second stanza. In transition, Thompson beat two defenders to the crease and slipped a crossing feed from Ryan Carter (White Bear Lake, Minn./New Jersey Devils/Minnesota State Univ. Mankato) between Bryzgalov’s legs.
Unchecked in front of the net, Alex Galchenyuk (Milwaukee, Wis./Montreal Canadiens) received a pass from Smith, deked left and calmly slid a backhand shot inside the right post at 17:31. Stastny started the play by forcing a turnover inside the Russian blue line and sending the puck to Smith in the right circle. Team USA had a 4-1 advantage after 40 minutes.
Russia and the U.S. combined for three goals in a span of 2:07 early in the third period. Alexander Ovechkin put a shot under the cross bar from the right side at 1:33 to cut the U.S. lead to 4-2 and shortly thereafter the Russians went on the power play. It was the U.S., however, that scored first as Carter raced up the ice and beat Semyon Varlamov between the legs at 2:55 for a shorthanded tally. Alexander Perezhogin trimmed the U.S. lead to 5-3 with a power-play tally at 3:40.
Team USA responded with a three-goal flurry during the middle of the frame to pull away. Jacob Trouba(Rochester, Mich./Winnipeg Jets/Univ. of Michigan) scored from the top of the right circle on the power play at 8:11, David Moss (Livonia, Mich./Phoenix Coyotes/Univ. of Michigan) tallied at 9:56 and just 11 seconds later Stastny notched his second goal of the day.
Goaltender John Gibson (Pittsburgh, Pa./Anaheim Ducks) won his third game in as many starts by making 31 saves.
In the semifinals, the U.S. will face Switzerland on Saturday (May 18) in Stockholm, Sweden. Game time will be set later today. It is anticipated that NBC Sports Network will televise the game live and stream it live in the United States through NBC Sports Live Extra.
Scoring By Period
First Period – Scoring: 1, USA, Stastny (Smith, Hunwick), 11:53; 2, USA, Oshie (Stapleton), 12:43; RUS, Svitov (Soin, Tyutin), 15:30. Penalties: USA, Stastny (hooking), 19:18.
Second Period – Scoring: 4, USA, Thompson (Carter), 5:45; 5, USA, Galchenyuk (Smith, Stastny), 17:31. Penalties: RUS, Medvedev (interference), 11:20; USA, Palushaj (hooking), 14:25.
Third Period – Scoring: 6, RUS, Ovechkin (Varlamov), 1:33; 7, USA, Carter (unassisted), 2:55 (sh); 8, RUS, Perezhogin (Popov, Ovechkin), 3:40 (pp); 9, USA, Trouba (Smith, Stastny), 8:11 (pp); 10, USA, Moss (Smith), 9:56; 11, USA, Stastny (Smith, C. Butler), 10:07. Penalties: USA, Gionta (roughing), 2:04; RUS, Tyutin (high-sticking), 7:49; USA, Stapleton (holding), 12:45.