The U.S. Men’s National Team rolled to a 5-1 victory over Sweden Sunday in its lone tuneup prior to beginning play in the 72nd annual International Ice Hockey Federation World Championship on Friday, May 2, in Halifax, Nova Scotia.
“I thought it was a good team effort,” said U.S. head coach John Tortorella of a game that featured five different USA goal-scorers. “It was good to see our team under game conditions.”
Team USA jumped out to a 2-0 lead after the first period. A highlight-reel play resulted in the first U.S. goal when Patrick Kane (Buffalo, N.Y./Chicago Blackhawks) avoided defenders in the high slot with a nifty spin-o-rama move and then found Peter Mueller (Bloomington, Minn./Phoenix Coyotes) who beat Sweden netminder Mikael Tellqvist from the right of the crease at 9:26.
The other U.S. goal came on the power play at 12:06 when Patrick O’Sullivan (Winston-Salem, N.C./L.A. Kings) put home the second rebound from in front between the circles. Phil Kessel (Madison, Wis./Boston Bruins/Univ. of Minnesota) and Mueller drew assists on the play.
Craig Anderson (Park Ridge, Ill./Florida Panthers), who stopped all 14 shots he faced in the first 32:22 of action, was solid in the opening stanza with 11 saves.
After a scoreless second period, Team USA opened up a 3-0 advantage at 3:58 of the third period when Dustin Brown (Ithaca, N.Y./L.A. Kings) took Nathan Gerbe’s (Oxford, Mich./Boston College) feed from behind the net and fired one home from the left circle.
The U.S. extended its lead to 4-0 off Gerbe’s rebound goal at 11:52. Just 1:29 later, Kane finished Team USA’s scoring for the evening when his shot from the side of the circle deflected off a Swedish defender and past Tellqvist. Mueller won the faceoff to begin the play and drew the lone assist on the goal.
Sweden got its only goal of the evening with 2:06 to play off the stick of Mattias Weinhandl.
Team USA will practice at the Family Ice Center in Falmouth, Maine, through Wednesday (April 30) before heading to Halifax to begin play in the IIHF World Championship.
All 56 games from the 2008 IIHF Men’s World Championship will be broadcast live on WCSN.com.