HELSINKI, Finland – Paul Stastny (St. Louis, Mo./Colorado Avalanche/Univ. of Denver) scored twice andBen Bishop (Denver, Colo./Tampa Bay Lightning/Univ. of Maine) made 25 saves, but defending world champion Russia broke a 3-3 tie with two goals in the final 6:30 on the way to a 5-3 victory over the U.S. Men’s National Team here tonight in preliminary-round action at the 2013 International Ice Hockey Federation Men’s World Championship.
“We played hard,” said Joe Sacco, head coach of the U.S. Men’s National Team. “It was a good hockey game and while we didn’t get the desired result, I’m proud of our effort. We’ll get some rest tonight and be ready for an important game against Finland tomorrow.”
Russia opened the scoring at 5:23 during a delayed penalty call to the U.S.
After Craig Smith (Madison, Wis./Nashville Predators/Univ. of Wisconsin) drove to the net, Stastny hammered the second rebound up and over Russian netminder Ilya Bryzgalov at 10:58 to even the game at 1-1. Stastny struck again 2:30 later, this time on the power play. Taking a feed from Justin Faulk (South St. Paul, Minn./Carolina Hurricanes/Univ. of Minnesota Duluth), Stastny walked down from the left faceoff circle and ripped a wrist shot high into the net.
The teams went to the dressing room tied after 20 minutes thanks to Ilya Kovalchuk’s goal at 14:04.
Each team scored once in the second stanza. Carrying momentum from a power play, the U.S. took a 3-2 lead at 7:09. Aaron Palushaj (Livonia, Mich./Colorado Avalanche/Univ. of Michigan) carried the puck up the side boards and slid a pass to Matt Hunwick (Warren, Mich./Colorado Avalanche/Univ. of Michigan) at the point. Hunwick’s blast deflected off a Russian defender before finding the back of the net. Russia’s Alexei Tereshenko scored the equalizer at 11:19.
The third period saw much of the back and forth play that dominated the first two periods, with both teams having quality scoring chances. Russia took the lead for good at 13:35 off a rebound and less than two minutes later, Alexander Radulov took a nice feed from Kovalchuk on the power play to account for the 5-3 final.
The U.S. pulled Bishop in favor of an extra attack for the final 2:13, but could get no closer.