The IIHF World Championship continued with three games featuring Devils players or prospects on tap for the day.
First off, we begin with Group A action in Kosice where the US took on Great Britain. The Americans won the game, doubling up the Brits 6-3.
Britain has had a rough go of it in the tournament after fighting their way up from the lower levels of the IIHF to get here. They only had one goal for through the round robin so far. They notched three against the USA, but it was not enough to win the game.
Britain’s Mike Hammond set up the first US goal when he took a holding minor at the 10:51 mark of the first. James van Riemsdyk scored on the ensuing power play to give the USA the 1-0 lead at 12:17.
But Hammond would redeem himself by scoring the tying goal at 15:08 of the first. We headed into the first intermission knotted at one.
Hammond was involved in the go-ahead goal for the US as well, as he took a hooking penalty that set up a Clayton Keller power play goal 9:07 into the second period. Chris Kreider followed up at 11:20 to give the US the two goal lead and Alex DeBrincat scored at 17:54 to make it 4-1 USA.
But with just six seconds to go in the second frame, Brett Perlini cut the US lead in half when he scored unassisted for Great Britain to make it 4-2.
The US would restore a three goal lead when Patrick Kane scored just one minute into the third. Derek Ryan made it 6-2 for the Americans when he scored on the power play at 9:10 (Matthew Myers was off for high-sticking for Great Britain).
Ben Davies of Britain took a goalie interference penalty at the 14:20 mark and then, eight seconds after his penalty expired, he scored to make it 6-3, which was our final.
Thatcher Demko made 23 saves on 26 British shots against. Ben Bowns was bombarded with 65 American shots and made 59 saves.
Jack Hughes had six shots on goal and was an even plus/minus in 11:28 of ice time (15 shifts).
USA next plays Denmark on Saturday.
Going over to Bratislava for Group B action, we have the Swiss over Norway 4-1.
Andres Ambuhl got the Swiss on the board 5:30 into the game to make it 1-0.
Nico Hischier took a slashing penalty at 17:29 of the first period, meaning it would straddle the intermission. When the penalty was killed off 29 seconds into the second, Nico jumped on to the ice and scored five seconds later. His goal made it 2-0 Switzerland.
Gregory Hofmann made it 3-0 9:01 into the third period when he scored from Lino Martschini.
Ambuhl bookended the scoring when he added a second for the fourth Swiss goal at 16:02 of the third. Norway would add a goal from Tobias Lindstrom with just under two minutes to go but it was window dressing. The Swiss came away with the 4-1 win.
In goal, Leonardo Genoni made 31 saves on a respectable 32 shots for Norway. Norwegian goalie Henrik Holm made 38 saves on 42 Swiss shots.
Nico finished the game with the goal for a point, two penalty minutes (the slashing penalty), three shots on goal and a plus-2 plus/minus in 17:21 of ice time (23 shifts).
The Swiss play Sweden next on Saturday in what will be a real test for them.
Now, we move back to Group A where Germany defeated Slovakia 3-2 at the Steel Arena in Kosice.
Marian Studenic took the first penalty of the game, a tripping call 3:13 into the contest. Slovakia would kill that off and the first period was scoreless.
But Germany would only need 3:54 into the second to take the 1-0 lead. Marc Michaelis beat Slovak goalie Marek Ciliak to make it 1-0.
The Germans would get into some penalty trouble early in the second when Moritz Seider was given two minutes for holding at 8:01, Moritz Muller was called for tripping at 8:24 and on the same play, Korbinian Holzer was assessed a ten minute misconduct for unsportsmanlike conduct.
With a 5-on-3, Slovakia would capitalize when Andrej Sekera tied the game with a goal at 8:30. Then, with a 5-on-4 man advantage, Libor Hudacek scored at 9:55 to make it 2-1 Slovakia.
Slovakia’s Ladislav Nagy was given a two minute minor for boarding and a ten minute misconduct to go with it 13:38 into the third. Studenic would serve the minor for Nagy.
At 18:08, with German goalie Mathias Niederberger pulled for the extra atttacker, Markus Eisenschmid tied the game for Germany at two. The Germans would pull Niederberger again and, with less than thirty seconds to go in the contest, Leon Draisaitl scored to give the Germans the 3-2 lead. This would go on to be our final.
Niederberger made 34 saves on 36 Slovak shots against while Ciliak made 18 saves on 21 German shots.
Studenic had two penalty minutes (the tripping penalty, not the one he served), one shots and was a minus-1 plus/minus in 12:08 of ice time (16 shifts).
Slovakia plays Friday against France in their next game.
Tomorrow we will have Damon Severson and Canada taking on France for you, plus Sweden versus Austria and Finland against Denmark.