US power play powers past Germany

US power play powers past Germany

29 Dec 2013 | Derek O’Brien
 

On the strength of six power-play goals, the United States beat Germany 8-0 in Malmö to run their record to 3-0, while the Germans fall to 0-3. The Americans were led by 4 points from Vince Hinostroza and 3 from Matt Grzelcyk.

 
 
 
 

After going 2-for-3 against the Czech Republic and 3-for-5 against Slovakia, the success of the American power play was no secret, and it kept running on Sunday like a well-oiled machine, going 6-for-11 against Germany.

"Of course, we knew before the game that the Americans had a very strong power play," said German coach Ernst Hofner. "But at the same time you want to play physical and not get pushed around. It was unfortunate because five-on-five it was only 2-0."

It was actually the Germans with the first two power-play chances of the game. In fact, they had a five-on-three for 1:23 after the Americans were called for having too many players on the ice. It was then when they had their best chances to score in the game.

"Yeah, they had a few chances at the start and when it's a three-on-five you know you'll have to face some shots, for sure," said US goaltender Anthony Stolarz, who stopped all 15 shots he faced to post the shutout. "Overall, though, it was a pretty quiet game, for sure. The guys were doing a good job focusing on defence and just tried to stay sharp for when the shots did come."

The Americans didn't get their first shot on Patrick Klein until they got their first power play, and on their second power play they scored their first goal. Hudson Fasching used a German defenceman as a screen and fired a low shot through Klein's legs. Then the floodgates opened.

It was 2-0 after one period, and the Americans added four more goals in the second -- all on the power play. They started early, as on the first shift of the middle frame, German captain Leon Draisaitl checked Andrew Copp from behind into the end boards and was assessed a five-minute major penalty and a game misconduct. The check will also be reviewed by the IIHF Disciplinary Committee to see if further action is needed.

"I was just trying to get there and finish my check and he turned around and I accidentally hit him from behind," a dejected Draisaitl said afterward. "Obviously, I didn't mean to hit him like that, but it just happened quickly. I feel bad about it, for sure."

The Germans went down two men when Sven Ziegler was called for hooking, and then the Americans scored twice -- Will Butcher on the two-man advantage and then Vince Hinotroza before then end of the Draisaitl major. Riley Barber and Matt Grzelcyk made it 6-0 on two more power-play goals before the middle frame was out.

"You don't like to run up the score against a team when you've got the game in hand," said Grzelcyk, whose 3 points  give him 6 for the tournament. "But at the same you want to keep sharp and when you get that many chances on the power play, you'll get chances to score."

In the third period, they scored twice more, including once more on the power play by Steven Santini. Nicolas Kerdiles and Vince Hinostroza scored the two even-strength goals.

For the Germans, who have now been outscored 24-4 in the tournament, it was their third straight decisive loss.

"The attitude on the team was a big improvement over the Slovakia game," Hofer said, referring to the 9-2 loss against Slovakia -- a team many felt the German had a chance to beat. "We are just looking to get better in our next game against the Czechs. We're not thinking in terms of winning and losing right now."

The Americans are, though. Though not seriously challenged in their first three games, they know they will be in their next game.

"New Year's Eve against Canada -- it doesn't get much bigger than that," said Kerdiles in anticipation. "I've seen a few of them on TV in the past but this will be the first one I'll play in, so I'm excited for that, for sure."

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