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USA Beats Austria to Begin Men's World Championship

05/04/2013, 7:45am EDT

Team USA dug out of a two-goal deficit to defeat Austria, 5-3. Erik Johnson scored twice.

HELSINKI – Erik Johnson (Bloomington, Minn./Colorado Avalanche/Univ. of Minnesota) scored twice to lead the U.S. Men’s National Team to a 5-3 win vs. Austria today at the 2013 International Ice Hockey Federation Men’s World Championship at Hartwall Arena. Team USA (1-0-0-0, W-OTW-OTL-L) trailed by two goals early on but used a four-goal second period to seize control of the game.

Austria jumped out to a 2-0 lead with goals at 4:58 and 5:38 of the opening period.

Team USA halved its deficit with a power-play goal by David Moss (Livonia, Mich./Phoenix Coyotes/Univ. of Michigan) at 10:02. Moss tucked in the rebound off a point shot by Justin Faulk (South St. Paul, Minn./Carolina Hurricanes/Univ. of Minnesota Duluth).

Just over a minute into the second period, goaltender Ben Bishop (Denver, Colo./Tampa Bay Lightning/Univ. of Maine) made a breakaway save on Thomas Vanek, the lone Austrian who played in the NHL in 2012-13.

Two minutes later, Johnson knotted the game at 2-2 with a one-timer from the center point. Nick Bjugstad (Minneapolis, Minn./Florida Panthers/Univ. of Minnesota) provided the primary feed after holding the puck in at the blue line.

Tim Stapleton (La Grange, Ill./Dynamo Minsk/Univ. of Minnesota Duluth) put the U.S. ahead for good at 9:31. Team USA cycled the puck along the right side and created a wide-open rebound opportunity that Stapleton buried from the low slot.

The U.S. capitalized on a three-on-two rush at 10:57, expanding its lead to 4-2. Aaron Palushaj (Livonia, Mich./Colorado Avalanche/Univ. of Michigan) snapped a low shot into the net following a cross-ice pass by Danny Kristo (Eden Prairie, Minn./Hamilton Bulldogs/Univ. of North Dakota).

Team USA’s four-goal run was stopped at 13:21 when Austria converted on a breakaway chance.

Johnson reestablished the two-goal lead, 5-3, on USA’s second power-play goal of the day. Jamie McBain (Edina, Minn./Carolina Hurricanes/Univ. of Wisconsin) faked a shot and fed Johnson in the left circle for a one-time blast.

Team USA's defense limited Austria to two shots on goal in the third period to seal the victory.

Bishop made 18 saves to collect his first career win for Team USA. Austria’s Bernhard Starkbaum stopped 24 shots.

Team USA’s next game is tomorrow vs. Latvia. Faceoff is 8:15 p.m. local time (1:15 p.m. EDT). NBC Sports Live Extra will stream the game live in the United States. NBC Sports Network will televise the game on delay at 1:15 a.m. EDT on May 6.


Scoring By Period    1    2     3     Total
AUT                          2    1     0      3
USA                          1    4     0     5

First Period – Scoring: 1, AUT, Latusa (Hundertpfund), 4:58; 2, AUT, Welser (Iberer), 5:38; 3, USA, Moss (Faulk, Stastny), 10:02 (pp). Penalties: AUT, Baumgartner (slashing), 9:49; USA, Thompson (high-sticking), 15:23; AUT, Herburger (holding), 18:06.

Second Period – Scoring: 4, USA, Johnson (Bjugstad, Kristo), 3:38; 5, USA, Stapleton (LeBlanc, Faulk), 9:31; 6, USA, Palushaj (Kristo, Bjugstad), 10:57; 7, AUT, Schuller (Peintner, Lukas), 13:21; 8, USA, Johnson (McBain, LeBlanc), 18:32 (pp). Penalties: AUT, Hundertpfund (high-sticking), 17:14.

Third Period – Scoring: none. Penalties: none.

Shots by Period                 1      2        3       Total
AUT                                   12     7        2       21
USA                                   9      14       6       29

Goaltender (SH/SV)            1       2       3       Total
AUT, Starkbaum, L, 60:00    9/8    14/10 6/6    29/24
USA, Bishop, W, 60:00        12/10 7/6    2/2    21/18

Power Play: AUT 0-1; USA, 2-3
Penalties: AUT 3-6; USA, 1-2

NOTES: Team USA won its opening game of an IIHF Men's World Championship for the eighth time in nine years ... The U.S. improves to 11-0-0-2 (W-OTW-OTL-L) in the all-time series vs. Austria ... Team USA's captain is Paul Stastny, while the alternate captains are Matt Carle and Nate Thompson ... Twenty-one of the 23 members of Team USA played U.S. college hockey ... Nine of the 23 players announced are products of USA Hockey's National Team Development Program, including Matt Carle, Justin Faulk, John Gibson, Stephen Gionta, Matt Hunwick, Erik Johnson, Danny Kristo, Jamie McBain and Jacob Trouba ... Ten NHL teams are represented on the roster, including the Calgary Flames, Carolina Hurricanes, Chicago Blackhawks, Colorado Avalanche, Edmonton Oilers, Florida Panthers, Phoenix Coyotes, Tampa Bay Lightning and Winnipeg Jets ... Joe Sacco is the head coach of the 2013 U.S. National Men's Team. Tim Army, Danton Cole and Phil Housley are serving as assistant coaches ... The 2013 U.S. Men's National Team is under the direction of the U.S. Men's National Team Advisory Group, led by Jim Johannson, assistant executive director of hockey operations for USA Hockey. Members include NHL general managers Stan Bowman (Chicago), Paul Holmgren (Philadelphia), Dean Lombardi (Los Angeles), David Poile (Nashville), Ray Shero (Pittsburgh) and Dale Tallon (Florida) and NHL scouts Brian Burke (Anaheim) and Don Waddell (Pittsburgh) ... USA Hockey's international council, chaired by Tony Rossi, vice president of USA Hockey, has oversight responsibilities for all U.S. national teams.

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