Happy Mother’s Day to all the moms out there! We had a full slate of hockey today with five games involving Devils or Devils prospects across the IIHF World Championship and the Ontario Hockey League playoffs.
First up, the early game at the Worlds as Team USA took on France. The Americans rebounded from their upset loss to Slovakia nicely with a 7-1 win.
The US got on the board early with a power play goal from Alex DeBrincat. Damien Fleury was called for a high-stick at 3:46 and DeBrincat’s goal came at 4:05. Frank Vatrano quickly made it 2-0 when he scored at the 5:48 mark of the first.
DeBrincat notched his second of the evening when he scored at 6:04. That gave the USA the 3-0 lead heading into the second period.
The US continued to add to their lead through the second when Colin White beat French goalie Sebastian Ylonen to put the Americans up 4-0 3:56 into the second. Patrick Kane made it 5-0 at 5:52 and the rout was on.
Chris Kreider scored 55 seconds into the third to make it 6-0 and things were looking good for the US. At 4:35 of the third, Dylan Larkin was called for a cross-checking penalty. France’s Anthony Rech scored at 46:36, one second after the penalty officially ended, but still pretty much a power play goal since Larkin was just getting back on the ice. That made it 6-1.
White put the finishing touches on the win American victory when he scored at 14:21 to cap it off at 7-1.
Things got a little bit out of hand late in the period, when at 57:21, roughing minors were handed out to Tim Bozon and Alexandre Texier of France and Vatrano and White of the USA. But other than that, it was a cleanly played game overall.
Thatcher Demko started in goal for the US and he stopped 23 of 24 French shots. Ylonen made 35 stops on 42 American shots against.
Jack Hughes had three shots on goal and was an even plus/minus in 14:28 of ice time (18 shifts).
The Americans play again tomorrow when they take on Finland.
Next we visit Jesper Bratt and Team Sweden as they blew out Italy 8-0 in Group B action.
Sweden scored just 2:10 into the game when Anton Lander scored (with Bratt getting the primary assist) to foreshadow the things to come for the Italians.
Amazingly, that was the score after one, 1-0. Just 4:33 into the second, Italy’s Anthony Bardaro was called for a hook and Patric Hornqvist found the back of the net on the ensuing power play. It was 2-0 Sweden and that was the score after two as the Italians were seemingly keeping things in control.
Then the third period occurred. Italy took a too many men on the ice bench minor 1:41 into the period and 16 seconds into the power play, Oskar Lindblom scored. Marcus Kruger added another one less than a minute later to make it 4-0. The Swedes had doubled their lead in a matter of minutes and were not about to stop.
Sweden added a shorthanded goal at 8:55 after Adrian Kempe had been nabbed for a high-stick and we were off to the races at 5-0.
William Nylander scored unassisted at 12:33 to make it 6-0 and Lander added his second of the game to make it 7-0 at 15:32. Hornqvist scored his second of the night with 2:01 to go in the game, making it 8-0, our final.
Marco de Filippo Roia was under seige all night when he had to make 50 saves on 58 Swedish shots. Henrik Lundqvist turned aside all 13 Italian shots he faced.
Bratt had the assist for a point, three shots on goal, was a plus-1 in 7:10 of ice time over 10 shifts.
Sweden plays Norway tomorrow in their next game.
We now head back to Group A as Canada was taking on Great Britain. The Brits were back at this level of international play for the first time since 1994. They did not fare any better than the Italians, losing 8-0 to the Canadians.
Canada made it 1-0 when Mathieu Joseph scored 2:42 into the game. Our old friend Adam Henrique had the primary assist on this goal.
Anthony Mantha scored less than ten minutes later at 12:33 to make it 2-0 Canada.
Once again, it was a game that the Brits could manage at this point, only down by two. But that deficit was about to get a lot bigger. Kyle Turris scored 2:35 in to make it 3-0.
Great Britain’s Robert Lachowicz was then given a boarding penalty plus a 10 minute minsconduct at the 6:15 mark and the Canadians were on the power play. Dylan Strome would convert on this to make it 4-0 Canada. Things were starting to get ugly for Britain.
Just 23 seconds before the second period was about to expire, Dante Fabbro made it 5-0 Canada. And that is how we headed into the third period.
Turris scored his second of the game when he scored 57 seconds into the third to make it 6-0 Canada. Britain’s Ben O’Connor took a hooking penalty at the 14:47 mark of the third to set up the Canadian power play again. It took the full time to score on this one. At 16:46, with one second to go on the man advantage, Sean Couturier made it 7-0.
But the Canadian were not done yet. Mantha scored at 10:27 to give Canada an eight spot and that was the final. It was after this goal that Britain pulled goalie Ben Bowns in favor of Jackson Whistle. But it was too little, too late for the Brits.
Bowns and Whistle combined to make 48 saves on 56 Canadian shots. For Canada, Carter Hart stopped all 12 British shots he faced.
Damon Severson had five shots on goal and was a plus-1 in 17:20 of ice time spread over 24 shifts.
Canada next plays host Slovakia tomorrow.
We wrap up our day in Slovakia with a little bit of Group B action from Bratislava. Switzerland beat Latvia 3-1.
Following a scoreless first period, Gregory Hofmann put the Swiss up 1-0 13:44 into the second frame.
It would only take a little over a minute for Latvia to get back into things. Switzerland’s Gaetan Haas got a delay of game penalty setting up the Latvian power play at 14:02. Thirteen seconds into the man advantage, Miks Indrasis tied the game for Latvia.
Late in the second, Latvia would give Switzerland a great opportunity when Indrasis was given a double minor for high-sticking at 17:58 and then, at 18:34, Lauris Darzins went off for delay of game. But the Swiss could not score on that.
After a series of penalties in the third period that put the Swiss down 5-on-3 that Latvia could not score on, it was Nico Hischier that scored to make it 2-1at 16:21 of the third. That would go on to be the game winning goal as Latvia would pull goalie Elvis Merzlikins for the extra attacker at 18:18. Simon Moser scored into the empty net and Switzerland was off to a 3-1 victory.
In goal, Merzlikins made 34 saves on 37 Swiss shots against. Leonardo Genoni made 20 saves on 21 Latvian shots.
Hischier had the goal for a point, five shots on goal and was a plus-1 in 18:21 on 26 shifts.
Switzerland plays next on Tuesday, May 14 against the Austrians.
Eight seemed to be the magic number for the day as the Guelph Storm finished off their OHL Finals series by beating the Ottawa 67’s 8-3, wrapping up the series four games to two.
Noel Hoefenmayer and Kody Clark (on the power play) gave Ottawa a quick two goal lead when they scored at 2:59 AND 8:30 of the first, respectively.
That two goal lead was not to last, however. Just 51 seconds into the second, Dmitri Samorukov scored for Guelph on the power play to cut the Ottawa lead in half.
It took until 7:46 of the second for Isaac Ratcliffe to tie the game up. Ratcliffe then scored his second of the night on the power play at 14:43 of the second.
Cedric Ralph then posted one at 15:04 of the second to make it 4-2 Storm. And the barrage continued as Nick Suzuki notched one again 53 seconds later to make it 5-2.
The 67’s stopped the bleeding momentarily when Sasha Chmelevski scored on the power play with just over a minute to go in the second to make it 4-3. But that was the last goal Ottawa would score this season.
Samorukov scored his second of the afternoon on the power play 10:45 into the third. Domenico Commisso scored into an empty net when Ottawa tried to get the extra attacker to get back in the game. Keegan Stevenson capped things off for Guelph at 16:37 of the third to make it 8-3 and claim the OHL championship for Guelph and secure them a trip to the Memorial Cup.
The 67’s ended the game 2-for-5 on the power play while the Storm were 3-for-6. Anthony Popovich made 23 saves on 26 Ottawa shots while Cedrick Andree stopped 31 Guelph shots of the 38 that they peppered him with.
Mitchell Hoelscher was a minus-3 plus/minus with one shot on goal and two penalty minutes (a slashing minor at 19:06 of the first period that led to Samorukov’s first goal). In the faceoff circle he won nine of the 24 draws he took.
As the 67’s fall by the wayside, Guelph will now look towards Halifax where they, the Halifax Mooseheads, the Rouyn-Noranda Huskies and the winners of the WHL (either the Vancouver Giants or the Prince Albert Raiders) will face off for the Memorial Cup. That begins on Friday and we will have coverage of it right here for you then.