Great Britain Defeats Belarus, 4-3

In a lighter day of only four games at the World Hockey Championships, Russia blanked Denmark 3-0, Kazakhstan edged Germany, 3-2 and Canada doubled up Norway, 4-2.

The game of importance to us is Belarus against Great Britain in Group A action at the Olympic Sports Centre in Riga. This was another close one as the Brits narrowly got by, 4-3, to notch their first win of the tournament.

Belarus took an early tripping call to Ilya Solovyov just 11:12 into the game. The Belarusians killed that off, but at 13:38, Britain struck. Just seconds after the power play expired, Liam Kirk scored unassisted to make it 1-0. That score took us into the second period.

In the second, a similar situation. Britain’s Matthew Myers took a holding penalty 7:10 into the period. The Brits killed that off and, five seconds after the power play was over, Vladislav Kodola scored to tie it. Nick Bailen and Shane Prince had the assists for the game-tier.

From there, Great Britain would go on a run.

At 17:06, Ben Davies scored from Myers to make it 2-1. One minute and thirty seconds later, at 18:35, Kirk scored his second of the game to make it 3-1. Ben O’Connor and Robert Dowd had the assists.

In the third, Britain’s David Phillips took a charging penalty 6:58 into the new frame. Belarus had about 1:30 of power play time until Bailen evened things up with a tripping minor for the Belarusians at 4:28.

With things at 4-on-4, the Brits would triple their lead when Mike Hammond scored from Mark Richardson at 8:31. That made it 4-1 Great Britain.

Belarus would then nearly tie things when Geoff Platt scored at 11:19 (from Francis Pare and Kodola). That cut the lead in half at 4-2.

Belarus would then go on the penalty kill at 15:05 when Andrei Antonov got two minutes for interference.

They would kill that off and, about 40 seconds after killing the penalty, at 17:43, Prince would score from Yegor Sharangovich and Alexei Protas to cut the lead to one.

With the score 4-3, the Belarusians pulled goaltender Danny Taylor with just about one minute to go in regulation but could not get the equalizer. Great Britain got the win, 4-3.

Sharangovich finished the game with an assist for a point and two shots on goal in 20:08 of ice time.

With that win, both teams are essentially tied in Group A standings with one win in four games and four points. Belarus has a slightly better goal differential at minus-four to Britain’s minus-seven.

Next up, tomorrow, the Swiss take on Slovakia, the United States takes on Latvia, Sweden takes on the Czech Republic and Finland faces Italy.

WHC: USA Beats Kazakhstan; Sweden Blows out Switzerland

The fifth day of the IIHF World Hockey Championship saw Denmark defeat Great Britain 3-2 in overtime, with the Brits picking up a point for the first time this tournament and Finland defeat Norway 5-2.

In games involving Devils players, the United States knocked off Kazakhstan 3-0 while Sweden was all over the Swiss, 7-0.

The US game featured Matt Tennyson picking up an assist for a point as well as two penalty minutes and three shots on goal in 15:58 of time on ice. Matt Hellickson had four shots on net in 18:12 of ice time.

Adam Clendening got the Americans on the board early, 6:57 into the game, off assists from Jason Robertson and Trevor Moore.

The Americans were up 1-0 heading into the second period and it only took 1:33 to get them up by two.

Moore notched one less than two minutes in to the second off of a helper by Zac Jones. Just like that, it was 2-0 USA.

The US would round things out in the third. Again, it came very early, just 1:58 in this time. Jack Drury found the back of the net from Ryan Donato and Tennyson to make it a three-spot for the USA.

And that was it. Kazakhstan took a tripping penalty by Alexei Maklyukov with just about two minutes to go in regulation. This meant that the Kazakhs spent the remaining portion of the game killing a penalty and could not get the extra skater on.

So with that win, the US moves into fourth place in Group B with a 2-1-0 record and a plus-six goal differential, to go along with six points.

Now on to Group A where the Swedes and the Swiss were due for battle.

While Jonas Siegenthaler did not suit up today for Switzerland, Nico Hischier did and got 17:41 of ice time while not registering a shot or a point.

This game saw Sweden score early and often.

Jesper Froden got the ball rolling at 8:35 of the first when he scored from Lawrence Pilut and Magnus Nygren. Adrian Kempe finished the scoring in the first for the Swedes when he scored at 10:00 from Henrik Tommernes and Nils Lundkvist.

In the second period, Victor Olofsson scored 2:33 in – on the power play – from Lundkvist.

Froden got his second of the game from Andreas Wingerli and Klas Dahlbeck at 10:24. Following this goal, Swiss goaltender Leonardo Genoni was pulled in favor of Melvin Nyffeler.

Late in the second, Switzerland took a too many men on the ice penalty at 19:14. Early in the third, Noah Rod of the Swiss took a high sticking call to put the Swedes up 5-on-3 for the next 45 or so seconds. The too many men penalty expired but Sweden would score on the Rod high sticking penalty when Nygren scored at 1:18 from Rickard Rakell and Kempe. It was now 5-0 Sweden.

Lundkvist notched another point 7:14 into the third when he scored from Kempe and Tommernes. About 3:30 later, Tommernes would add one of his own (from Froden and Lundkvist) to give us our final of 7-0.

The Swedes, who were previously winless in the tournament are now in sixth place in Group A with a plus-five goal differential and three points. Switzerland stands in third place in the group with two wins and a minus-three goal differential. They have six points.

Tomorrow in games involving Devils, Belarus takes on Great Britain. Elsewhere, Russia and Denmark clash, the Germans take on Kazakhstan and Canada tries to finally record a win as they take on Norway.