There were a full slate of games today at the IIHF World Hockey Championship in Riga, Latvia.
In addition to the four games involving Devils players, Norway defeated Italy 4-1 and Kazakhstan continued to roll as they beat Finland 2-1 in a shootout.
Up first in the Devils-related games, Belarus defeated Sweden 1-0.
Yegor Sharangovich had four penalty minutes and a shot in 18:00 of total ice time.
Sharangvich’s penalty minutes came 56 seconds into the game as he received a double minor for high sticking. Belarus would kill it off.
The only goal of the game came 33 seconds into the third period as German Nesterov scored from Mikhail Stefanovich and Stanislav Lopachuk.
Sweden would pull goaltender Adam Reideborn with just over three minutes to play to no avail. Belarus came away with the win.
In the next game involving a Devil, Nico Hischier, Jonas Siegenthaler and the Swiss defeated Denmark 1-0.
Hischier ended up with an assist for a point and two shots on net in 16:47 of time on ice. Siegenthaler had a shot on goal in 17:25 of ice time.
This 1-0 game was different from the Sweden-Belarus 1-0 game in that the lone goal came early and the Swiss fended off the Danes the rest of the game.
Timo Meier scored 13:12 into the first from Hischier and former Devils’ defenseman Mirco Muller.
Denmark pulled goalie Sebastian Dahm with a little more than two minutes to go in regulation, but Switzerland gets the three points.
In another Devils-related game, Slovakia edged Great Britain 2-1.
Marian Studenic had a total of five shots on goal for the Slovaks over 16:01 of total ice time.
It seemed to be another one of those games for the British when Marek Hrivik scored just 25 seconds into the game. Robert Lantosi had the lone assist. Just like that, it was 1-0 Slovakia.
However, when the Slovaks came out for the second period, goalie Branislav Konrad was replaced by Julius Hudacek.
The British would take advantage of a cold goalie, with Liam Kirk scoring 2:03 into the new frame to tie it at one. Brett Perlini and Mark Richardson had the helpers.
The Slovaks would answer right back, though. 2:39 later, Lantosi scored from Peter Cehlarik to put Slovakia back up 2-1 in what ended up as our final.
Britain pulled goalie Ben Bowns with just under 2:30 left to play but the Slovaks came away with the victory.
And that brings us to the main event. In any situation, a day headlined by a rivalry game was going to be a big deal. The United States and Canada is a rivalry game and it was contentious.
For the US, Matt Tennyson ended with a goal for a point and a shot on goal in 15:45 while Matt Hellickson had an assist for a point in 16:19 of total ice time. Of another note was that Anaheim Ducks goalie/Edison, New Jersey-native Anthony Stolarz started for the Americans, but left at the 4:58 mark in favor of Jake Oettinger.
The USA got on the board at 7:42 when Jason Robertson scored from Conor Garland to make it 1-0.
The Americans doubled the lead 1:19 into the second when Adam Clendening scored. Hellickson had his assist on this goal. It was now 2-0 USA.
Almost a minute later, at 2:12, Canada’s Gabriel Vilardi was called for a hook. With the US on the power play, Trevor Moore scored from Robertson to make it 3-0.
Moore would strike again at the 18:20 mark when he scored from Garland to make it 4-0.
The Canadians began the third period by replacing goalie Darcy Kuemper with Adin Hill. That seemed to spur Canada on as Maxime Comtois scored a little later at 11:35 to make it 4-1. Nicolas Beaudin assisted on the goal that got Canada on the big board.
The Americans, however, would finish things off when Tennyson would score with just over three minutes left in regulation. Clendening had the lone assist on the goal that made it 5-1 USA.
And with that, Canada has yet to record a win in the tournament this year – after finishing as the runner up two years ago.
Tomorrow, Slovakia takes on the formidable Russia while Belarus goes toe-to-toe with the Czech Republic.