VIENNA, Austria - Four different U.S. players scored, while goaltenders Connor Hellebuyck (Commerce, Mich.) and Alex Lyon (Baudette, Minn./Yale University) combined to make 28 saves as the U.S. Men's National Team skated past Austria, 4-1, in a pre-tournament game at the Eissportzentrum Kargran here tonight.
The contest served as Team USA's only pre-tournament outing ahead of the 2015 International Ice Hockey Federation Men's World Championship, which starts Friday (May 1) and runs through May 17 in Ostrava, Czech Republic.
"It was our first game together and I liked a lot of the things I saw out there tonight," said Todd Richards, head coach of the 2015 U.S. Men's National Team and also the head coach of the NHL's Columbus Blue Jackets. "We certainly have some things to work on, but it was a really good test for us and gives us an idea of where we're at as a group."
The U.S. opened the scoring just 2:08 into the game when Mike Reilly (Chanhassen, Minn./University of Minnesota) found the back of the net with a one-timer from the point. The play started when Dylan Larkin (Waterford, Mich./University of Michigan) dropped the puck for Dan Sexton (Apple Valley, Minn.) in the left corner. Sexton grabbed the pass, moved up the wall and fed Reilly at the blue line, who muscled a shot past the blocker of Austrian goaltender Rene Swette. Team Austria answered with a goal four minutes later to even the score at 1-1 after one period.
Neither team cracked the scoreboard in the middle period, but the U.S. scored three times in the third frame to secure a 4-1 victory. Steve Moses (Leominster, Mass.) converted on a power play 18 seconds into the third stanza to give the U.S. a 2-1 lead. After Team USA gained possession, Tory Krug (Livonia, Mich./Boston Bruins) skated through the left circle in the offensive zone and threaded a cross-ice pass to Moses, who redirected the puck into the top corner from the edge of the crease. Auston Matthews (Scottsdale, Ariz./U.S. National Under-18 Team) doubled the U.S. advantage when he collected a rebound at the side of the net and calmly put it home at 11:30. Trevor Lewis (Salt Lake City, Utah/Los Angeles Kings) wheeled into the zone around an Austrian defender and hit Matthews just inside the blue line. Matthews deked and lost the puck, but Lewis quickly passed it back to Matthews. Then, with Team USA skating on a late man-advantage, Jeremy Morin (Auburn, N.Y./Columbus Blue Jackets) closed the scoring with a quick shot from the left circle. Zach Redmond (Traverse City, Mich./Colorado Avalanche) fed the puck through traffic to Morin, who sent a one-timer into the top corner.
The U.S. Men's National Team will travel to Ostrava, Czech Republic, and play Finland on Friday (May 1) in its first preliminary-round game of the 2015 IIHF Men's World Championship. The contest, which is slated to begin at 10:15 a.m. ET, can be seen live on NBCSN or via NBC Sports Live Extra.
NOTES: Auston Matthews is heading back to the U.S. in the morning after playing in tonight's contest. Matthews came from Switzerland where led the U.S. National Under-18 Team to gold and was named the MVP of the 2015 IIHF U18 Men's World Championship ... Nick Bonino arrived here in Vienna today, but did not play. Seth Jones is expected to join Team USA tomorrow.
|April 28||Austria (ex.)||W, 4-1|
|May 1||Finland||W, 5-1|
|May 2||Norway||W, 2-1|
|May 4||Russia||W, 4-2|
|May 7||Belarus||L, 2-5|
|May 8||Denmark||W, 1-0|
|May 10||Slovenia||W, 3-1|
|May 12||Slovakia||W, 5-4 OT|
|May 17||Czech Republic
Bronze Medal Game