MINSK, Belarus – Johnny Gaudreau (Carneys Point, N.J./Boston College/Calgary Flames) had a goal and three assists and Justin Abdelkader (Muskegon, Mich./Michigan State University/Detroit Red Wings) scored twice, including the game winner in the third period, to give the U.S. Men’s National Team a 5-4 victory over Germany in its final preliminary-round game of the 2014 International Ice Hockey Federation Men’s World Championship here today.
“I’m glad that we were able to find the points that we needed to possibly raise our seeding for the quarterfinals,” said Peter Laviolette, head coach of the 2014 U.S. Men’s National Team. “We knew that this was going to be a tough match for us today. We’re looking forward to moving on from here.”
Following a scoreless first period, Abdelkader struck on a shot from the side of the net just 1:44 into the middle frame to give the United States a 1-0 lead. Gaudreau created the play low in the offensive zone by shaking a German defender before sending a no-look pass to Abdelkader that he quickly fired past goaltender Danny Aus den Birken.
Team Germany answered 1:48 later with a goal on a rush, but Drew Shore (Denver, Colo./University of Denver/Florida Panthers) put the U.S. back in front with a shorthanded marker at 7:18. Team USA created a turnover just inside its defensive blue line and Jeff Petry (Ann Arbor, Mich./Michigan State University/Edmonton Oilers) sent an outlet pass to Shore in the neutral zone. Shore raced down the left wing, made a nifty move around a German defenseman and slid the puck through Aus den Birken’s legs to make it 2-1 USA.
A Germany power-play marker at 10:29 pulled the game back to even before Team USA answered with a power-play goal of its own at 12:53 to jump ahead, 3-2. Gaudreau picked up the puck at the right circle, turned to his forehand and feathered a cross-ice pass to Matt Donovan (Edmond, Okla./University of Denver/N.Y. Islanders). Donovan one-timed the pass into the net for his second goal of the tournament.
An odd-man rush allowed Germany to tie it at 3-3 just 2:20 later, setting the stage for the United States’ third-period heroics.
Gaudreau scored at 2:24 of the third frame to put Team USA up, 4-3. With the U.S. on the man advantage, Gaudreau used a quick toe drag to pull the puck between two German defenders. Once he regained complete control of the puck, he fired a shot high off the in-net camera to put Team USA up for good.
Abdelkader buried another pinpoint Gaudreau feed in front with 4:16 remaining in the contest to give the U.S. a 5-3 cushion.
A German power-play goal with 1:57 to play cut the lead to 5-4, but the U.S. snuffed out Germany's late efforts to tie the game.
Goaltender Tim Thomas (Flint, Mich./University of Vermont/Dallas Stars) started his seventh straight game of the tournament and turned aside 22 shots in the victory.
The U.S. Men’s National Team (4-1-0-2) will next play in the quarterfinals Thursday (May 22). Team USA’s opponent and game time will be announced later today.