By @MichaelCaples –
There was an unexpected bump in the road early on, but Team USA is back on track.
After falling to host Germany to open play at the 2017 IIHF Men’s World Championship, the Americans have rattled off three straight wins.
Today, they beat Italy 3-0, thanks to two goals from Brock Nelson and one strike from Anders Lee. Stellar defense in front of him meant that Jimmy Howard recorded a nine-save shutout. Howard is now 2-1 on the tournament, with a 1.69 goals-against average and .935 save percentage.
“They’re (Italy) tough to play against,” said Jeff Blashill, head coach of the 2017 U.S. Men’s National Team. “Our guys kept with it and made enough plays to win the game and that’s the important thing.”
— USA Hockey (@usahockey) May 10, 2017
Team USA posted a 7-2 victory over Denmark on May 7 and a come-from-behind 4-3 victory over Sweden the next day.
With the three straight victories, the U.S. has climbed up to second place in Group A behind a Latvia squad that holds a perfect 3-0 record.
The Americans will wrap up preliminary play with Latvia on May 13, Slovakia on May 14 and Russia on May 16.
Dylan Larkin is the lone U.S. player to have recorded points in each of the team’s first four games; he picked up two assists in today’s victory. The Waterford native’s seven assists lead the tournament thus far.
How the other Michigan names are faring at the tournament:
- Commerce native Connor Hellebuyck picked up the victory over Denmark – he stopped 23 of 25 shots sent his way.
- Rochester native Jacob Trouba has one assist, two penalty minutes, a +4 rating and seven shots on goal.
- Clay Township native and Red Wings defenseman Danny DeKeyser has one penalty and a +4 rating.
- Ann Arbor native Andrew Copp is +1 with one shot on goal and one penalty.
- Michigan alum J.T. Compher has one goal and a +3 rating; his lone strike was the game-winner against Sweden.