Devils to Host “Devils Down the Shore”

The Devils are going down the Shore for Labor Day weekend.

This year the Devils will host “Devils Down the Shore” at two bars at the Jersey Shore. The two bars will be The Anchor’s Bend in Asbury Park and Jenks Inlet Bar in Point Pleasant Beach. The event is free of charge at both bars.

The Devils’ website promises “a fun day of prizes, games, giveaways, and Devils player and alumni appearances.” Grant Marshall is scheduled to appear at The Anchor’s Bend while Travis Zajac, Will Butcher, Ken Daneyko and Marshall will be appearing at Jenks Inlet Bar.

Be advised that the Asbury Park event is 21+ according to the Devils’ site.

At the Devils’ website you can also enter a contest for a chance “to win access to free food & beverage, and a private meet and greet at each bar.”

This event will be replacing the “Devils Beach Bash” which was reportedly getting too expensive with not enough people coming out for the team to justify keeping it.

So, if you are a Devils fan and find yourself near Asbury or Point Pleasant Beach this Labor Day weekend, come out and enjoy some food, drinks and Devils-related events.

Devils Re-Sign Butcher to Three-Year Contract

The Devils continued to build their team going forward as they have today re-signed defenseman Will Butcher to a three-year contract worth $11.19 million ($3.73 million annually). Butcher, a restricted free agent, will avoid a salary arbitration hearing that was scheduled for Friday, according to the Devils’ press release on the subject.

Butcher, 24, had 30 points last year, including four goals and 26 assists in 78 games played. That likely played into the contract numbers.

Butcher originally signed a two-year entry level contract worth $925,000 annually after deciding to sign with the Devils on August 27, 2917 according to the press release. He was originally drafted in the fifth round (123rd overall) by the Colorado Avalanche in 2013 but declined to sign with them following four years at the University of Denver.

While at the University of Denver, he won the 2017 Hobey Baker Award “as the top player in NCAA Division I men’s hockey.” He also led the Pioneers to a National Championship also in 2017.

His career totals in the NHL thus far read: 74 points (nine goals and 65 assists) over 159 games (regular season) and four points (a goal and three assists) over just five playoff games all for the Devils.

According to the Devils’ PR Department’s press release, in his rookie year, Butcher “set a franchise record for points in a Devils’/NHL debut with 3A (3PTS) in the team’s home opener October 7 vs. Colorado.” He also was the “first rookie defenseman in NHL history to record at least 8A in his first 3GP of an NHL career.” In addition, Butcher was “the first Devil in team history to reach 20PTS in first 30 NHL games.” He led Devils’ defensemen in scoring with 44 points (five goals and 39 assists) in his rookie year, ending up fourth in the team in scoring overall. The Sun Prairie, Wisconsin native was also named to the NHL’s All-Rookie Team following the conclusion of his rookie year in 2017-18.

Butcher Named to All-Rookie Team; Devils Lose Two More Free Agents

I hope everyone had a happy and safe Independence Day yesterday – as well as a happy Canada Day back on July 1 if you are up north.

Some little tidbits to get to that may have slipped through the cracks the last week or so.

First, Will Butcher was named to the 2017-18 NHL All-Rookie Team. The Devils blueliner had five goals and 39 assists for 44 points in his rookie campaign. He finished ninth in Calder Trophy voting but did make the cut for the first team All-Rookie team.

Butcher was signed as a college free agent last summer after choosing not to sign with the Colorado Avalanche. The Denver University product put up three power play goals of his five lamp lighters and was a plus-1 to go with eight penalty minutes.

Now, the development of Will Butcher leads me directly to the second part of this post. The Devils loss of a certain free agent. Jacob MacDonald, who was an AHL mid-season All-Star last year representing Binghamton declined to re-sign with the Devils organization and moved to the Florida Panthers.

As Chris Ryan of The Star Ledger mentioned in a tweet to a fan when asked why the Devils did not keep MacDonald, it was basically that MacDonald’s path to the NHL was blocked by Butcher. Ryan said in the tweet that MacDonald is going to get the NHL “as an offensive defenseman and someone who’s going to run the power play. When he looks at the Devils’ depth chart and sees Will Butcher, that path is much tougher in NJ.”

Obviously, this is not too much of a hit to the Devils. MacDonald, for all of the buzz that has surrounded him, has not yet played an NHL game and is 25-years-old. Butcher is the much better, younger option there.

One other free agent that the Devils let walk was Brian Gibbons. Gibbons came in as somewhat of a stop gap last season, but performed over his head. He was given a one-year, $1 million deal with the Anaheim Ducks.

There has been a segment of the Devils’ fanbase that has been a little bit worried due to a lack of deals made by New Jersey this offseason. There are two main things to keep in perspective here. One, it is only July 5. Training camp does not even begin for about two and a half months. Two, there just were not that many good free agents for what the Devils need out there. Would landing John Tavares have been a good move? You bet, but he was not talking to divisional rivals largely, it seems, out of respect to the Islanders (keep in mind that that is just merely speculation on my part there). Would John Carlson have been a great signing? Of course, but he never even made it to free agency, with Washington locking him up almost as soon as they finished their Stanley Cup parade. Would Calvin de Haan have been at least a good consolation prize? Yes, but he chose Carolina for more term and money than it seems the Devils would have been willing to commit to the oft-injured d-man (again, speculation here).

The main point is just to relax. Ray Shero is no dummy. He has a plan and he is sticking to it. The Devils are not just spending to spend. Free agency is a very dicey way to build a team. The shrewd GMs do it through the Draft and trades. Remember, it was a summer trade that got us the reigning NHL MVP.

Plus, you have the youngsters like Joey Anderson and Michael McLeod, amongst others, who will be looking to make a push this camp. Even 2018 first rounder Ty Smith could make a big impact in camp and make the opening night roster. You just never know.

Ray will get the job done in making this team better for next season. This much I am very sure of.

Worlds: USA Wins Bronze Medal; Swiss Win Silver in Epic Contest with Swedes

The medal round lived up to everything it should have in the 2018 IIHF World Championships. The US won bronze over Canada following a third period scoring outburst and the Swedes successfully defended their gold medal by beating the Swiss in a game that went to a shootout to decide a winner.

First, the bronze medal game. The Americans took on Canada and came away with the third place finish, winning 4-1.

Following a scoreless first, the US got on the board first with a power play goal 6:40 into the second period. Joel Edmundson went off for roughing at the 5:14 mark, almost immediately after Canada’s Ryan Murray had come out of the box following a cross checking minor. Chris Kreider scored for the Americans off assists to Dylan Larkin and Alex Debrincat. It was 1-0 US.

But Canada would get the equalizer with just under two minutes remaining in the second. Marc-Edouard Vlasic scored from Bo Horvat and Kyle Turris. It was now 1-1 going into the third and it seemed as if we had a real game on our hands.

But the final frame would belong to the Americans and it was again a lack of discipline by the Canadians that would make it so. The game was still tied when at 12:29, Ryan O’Reilly took an interference call. On the ensuing American power play, Nick Bonino scored from Patrick Kane to break the stalemate and put the US up 2-1. That would prove to be the game winner.

Canada pulled goaltender Curtis McElhinney for the extra attacker at 16:58 and Anders Lee scored into the empty net from Charlie McAvoy at 17:45. It was 3-1 USA with time running out for the Canadians.

McElhinney was pulled again at the 17:55 mark and again the US scored into the vacated cage. This time Kreider notched his second of the game unassisted at 18:18. That made it 4-1 and that was your final. The US claimed bronze in the tournament, winning a medal following a great start. Canada finishes fourth.

Keith Kinkaid made 24 saves on 25 Canadian shots in the winning effort while McElhinney stopped 33 of 37 American shots.

Will Butcher had four shots on goal and was an even plus/minus in 19:39 of time on ice over 29 shifts. Blake Coleman was an even plus/minus in 11:49 over 21 shifts. Brian Gibbons did not dress for the game.

Meanwhile, the later game at Copenhagen’s Royal Arena was to decide the first and second place finishers. It was underdog Switzerland versus the undefeated Team Sweden. It was a tall order for the Swiss, but one that they would be up to.

The Swiss got on the board first when Nino Niederreiter scored at the 16:38 mark of the first period. He got assists from Roman Josi and Kevin Fiala.

But that lead would last less than a minute, as at the 17:54 mark of the first, Gustav Nyquist scored from Mattias Ekholm to knot things up at one going into the first intermission.

But Nyquist would play a role in the Swiss retaking the lead. Just 1:23 into the second frame, he took a two minute high sticking penalty and Timo Meier scored from Enzo Corvi and Josi on the resulting power play. That goal came at 3:13 and gave the Swiss the 2-1 lead.

But Sweden would return the favor on their own power play late in the second. At 13:56, Corvi took a holding penalty and Mika Zibanejad made Switzerland pay. He scored from Oliver Ekman-Larsson to tie things at two. And that was it for the scoring in regulation and overtime.

Switzerland and Sweden played through 20 minutes of the third with no more scoring and five minutes of the OT period with no one breaking the stalemate. And so it would take a shootout to decide who got gold and who got silver.

Sven Andrighetto kicked things off by scoring on Swedish goaltender Anders Nilsson to give the Swiss the lead in the shootout. Zibanejad then missed his shot and Kevin Fiala was topped by Nilsson. Swiss goalie Leonardo Genoni stopped Rickard Rakell on Sweden’s next attempt. Corvi was stopped on his try and then Sweden would finally get one through. Ekman-Larsson beat Genoni on his try to tie up the shootout. Gaetan Haas missed his try and Filip Forsberg converted on his to put Sweden ahead. Swiss survival was on the stick of the game’s first goal scorer, Niederreiter. But Nilsson stopped him and the Swedes claimed gold.

Sweden won 3-2 and the Swiss took home the silver. Genoni made 35 saves on 38 Swedish shots while Nilsson stopped 25 of 27 Swiss shots on net.

Mirco Mueller had two shots on goal and was a minus-1 in 28:58 of ice time over 41 shifts.

Congratulations to all of the teams, and in particular, the Swiss. They played extremely well in this tournament. They definitely showed that they belonged and made some upsets along the way. We will see you here back tomorrow as we cover the Swift Current Broncos and the Hamilton Bulldogs in the Memorial Cup round robin tournament.

Worlds: USA To Play For Bronze; Switzerland To Play For Gold

The United States will face Canada for the Bronze medal while Switzerland is guaranteed a medal playing in the gold medal game.

The Americans were humiliated 6-0 by the powerhouse Swedes in their semifinal game. The Swiss meanwhile, upset the Canadians 3-2 to move on in their semifinal. The finals are set with USA and Canada meeting again for bronze while Switzerland will face Sweden in the gold medal game.

First, the US game. This one was a rout, plain and simple, as Keith Kinkaid and the Americans just ran into the buzzsaw that is the Swedish team.

Viktor Arvidsson got the scoring kicked off at the 14:43 mark of the first when he beat Kinkaid off assists from Jacob de la Rose and Filip Forsberg. That made it 1-0 Sweden and they never looked back.

Kinkaid took a tripping penalty at the 17:32 mark of the first that was killed off. But the US, strangely, had more trouble on the power play. Just 3:36 into the second, former Devil Adam Larsson took a double minor for high sticking, setting up a four minute power play for the Americans. Instead, at 7:09, Magnus Paajarvi scored shorthanded from Mikael Backlund. It was now 2-0 Sweden.

And it continued. At 9:11, Johnny Gaudreau took a frustrated slashing penalty which set Sweden up on the power play. Patric Hornqvist converted on that from Backlund and John Klingberg. Now it was 3-0 Sweden.

Mattias Janmark made it 4-0 before the end of the second when he scored at 10:16 from Rickard Rakell.

With a little bit less than ten minutes left in the game, the US desperately pulled Kinkaid to try to get something going. Arvidsson ended up scoring his second of the game into an empty net. Mika Zibanejad had the lone assist.

Adrian Kempe would add insult to injury by scoring the sixth and final Swedish goal at even strength to put things away with just under three minutes left in the contest. Backlund racked up another point with the lone assist.

The US would end the game on the power play when, at 18:42, Kempe and Dylan Larkin went off for coincidental roughing minors. However, with ten seconds remaining, Backlund was called for slashing to put the US up a man, 4-on-3. Unfortunately, that was not enough and 6-0 was your final.

Kinkaid stopped 14 of 20 shots on goal while Swedish goalie Anders Nilsson was a perfect 41-for-41.

Will Butcher had a shot on goal and was a minus-2 in 20:32 of ice time spread over 27 shifts. Blake Coleman had a single shot on goal and was an even rating in 13:46 of ice time over 20 shifts. Brian Gibbons did not dress for this game.

So the US will now play for the bronze medal against rivals Canada tomorrow due to the results of the next game.

That game was Switzerland versus Canada in the other semifinal. And, as opposed to the US-Sweden game, this one was a real nailbiter.

The Swiss jumped out to the early 1-0 lead when Tristan Scherwey scored from Ramon Untersander and Dean Kukan. Canada found themselves down early, and it would take seven minutes and twenty seconds into the second frame for them to tie things. Bo Horvat got it even from Pierre-Luc Dubois and Jean-Gabriel Pageau.

However, less than a minute after Horvat tied things, some miscommunication between Canadian goalie Darcy Kuemper and Joel Edmundson led to Edmundson taking a hooking penalty behind the Canadian net. Switzerland was now on the power play and it was Gregory Hofmann who converted here. He scored from Kevin Fiala and Sven Andrighetto to give Switzerland back the lead, 2-1 at 9:40 of the second period.

And that is how things would stay until the third when Canada got into more penalty trouble. Just 3:11 into the third stanza, Ryan Nugent-Hopkins took a hooking penalty that led to a Gaetan Haas goal (assists to Andrighetto and Raphael Diaz) to put the Swiss up by two, 3-1.

Canada would make things interesting late in the third. At 13:51, Noah Rod was called for slashing, putting Canada up a man. When that was killed off, and with less than three minutes left in the game, the Canadians pulled Kuemper to make it a 6-on-5 and with 33 seconds elapsed with the extra man, Colton Parayko cut the Swiss lead to one when he scored from Connor McDavid and Brayden Schenn.

Canada would try pulling Kuemper again, but to no avail. Swiss goaltender Leonardo Genoni withstood 45 Canadian shots, making 43 saves and held on for the win. Kuemper made 14 saves on 17 Swiss shots. Genoni was amazing, keeping the Swiss in the game in the face of a flurry of Canadian offense – most of the third period, in particular, was played in the Swiss zone.

Mirco Mueller was an even plus/minus in 19:55 of ice time over 33 shifts. He was also named one of the three outstanding players for the Swiss for the tournament.

Next up, the Swiss get the undefeated Swedes in the gold medal game. They are guaranteed a medal, as they get the silver should they lose. That game will be played tomorrow. It should be a good game as the Swiss have been the story of the tournament and could give the Swedes a run for their money. We will see you tomorrow with all of the action.

Americans and Swiss Both Advance to Semifinals

Both the US and Switzerland will be moving on in the 2018 IIHF World Championships. The US defeated the Czech Republic in their quarterfinal game 3-2 while the Swiss downed Finland by the same score.

The Americans jumped out to a quick 1-0 lead at the Jyske Bank Boxen in Herning when Patrick Kane scored 10:36 into the first period from Derek Ryan. The US doubled their lead a little over a minute later at the 12:19 mark when Cam Atkinson scored from Nick Bonino and Johnny Gaudreau. That gave the Americans a 2-0 lead heading into the second period.

But the second frame belonged to the Czechs. They battled back into the game and tied things up. Michal Repik got the rally started when he scored 4:56 into the stanza. He got assists from Radek Faksa and Radko Gudas on that one.

At 10:32, Charlie McAvoy of the US was given a slashing penalty and the Czechs were on the power play. It only took 23 seconds for Martin Necas to convert from McAvoy’s Boston teammate David Pastrnak and Filip Hronek. The game was now tied up and to make matters worse for the US, Connor Murphy was assessed a slashing penalty at 18:30, which would give the Czechs 30 seconds of power play time on fresh ice in the third.

But the US killed that one off and, in fact, it was Kane who was the hero. He scored at even strength from Ryan at the 6:58 mark of the third to give the US a 3-2 lead.

The Czechs would pull goalie Pavel Francouz to try to get the equalizer, but it was not to be. The Americans held on and advanced in the tournament.

Keith Kinkaid made 24 saves on 26 Czech shots while Francouz made 28 saves on 31 American shots.

Will Butcher had a shot on goal and was a plus-1 in 21:01 of ice time over 30 shifts. Blake Coleman had two shots on goal and was a plus-1 plus/minus over 11:14 of time on ice. He spread that out over 15 shifts. Brian Gibbons did not dress for the game.

The US will now play Sweden, who defeated Latvia 3-2 in their quarterfinal, in the semifinals on May 19 at Royal Arena in Copenhagen.

Meanwhile in the later game at Herning, Switzerland was making history. They upset the Finns, 3-2 to make their way to the semifinals as well.

The Swiss actually fell behind early in this one. Markus Nutivaara scored for the Finns at the 7:01 mark of the first period from Miika Koivisto and Mikko Rantanen. It was 1-0 Finland going into the second frame.

But the Swiss would come roaring back in the second. Enzo Corvi tied things at one from Kevin Fiala and Nino Niederreiter at the 9:13 mark. At 12:32, Joel Vermin gave Switzerland the 2-1 lead when he scored from Timo Meier.

Thirty-six seconds after the Vermin goal, Gregory Hofmann gave the Swiss their insurance goal when he scored from Simon Moser and Michael Fora. It was now 3-1 Switzerland going into the third.

The Finns were allowed back into things when, at the 7:22 mark of the third, Fora took a four minute double minor for high sticking. Just 58 seconds into the ensuing power play, Rantanen scored from Veli-Matti Savinainen and Sebasitan Aho to cut the Swiss lead to one.

Finland would pull goaltender Harri Sateri for the extra attacker with about 1:30 left in the game, but to no avail. Switzerland held on and came away with the 3-2 upset victory.

Swiss goalie Leonardo Genoni made 32 saves on 34 Finnish shots while Sateri made 24 saves on 27 Swiss shots.

Mirco Mueller had two shots on goal and was a plus-1 in 22:28 of ice time spread over 38 shifts.

Next up for Switzerland, they play the Canadians in the semifinal. That game also takes place at the Royal Arena in Copenhagen and results from Canada beating the Russians 5-4 in overtime in their quarterfinal. That game also takes place on May 19.

Swiss Defeat France While US Dealt First Loss at Worlds

Team Switzerland got back on track with a 5-1 win over France in the last day of preliminaries at the 2018 IIHF World Championships. At the same time, it took all tournament, but the US was dealt a blow going into the medal rounds by losing 6-2 to Finland, their first defeat of the tournament so far.

We will begin with the high note at Royal Arena in Copenhagen. Switzerland got the goal scoring kicked off 12:21 into the first period when Gregory Hofmann scored from Gaetan Haas and Mirco Mueller to make it 1-0.

At 15:09, the Swiss would double their lead when Enzo Corvi scored to make it 2-0. He got assists from Nino Niederreiter and Timo Meier. The end of the period would kind of set the tone for the game as the French got into some penalty trouble.

First, with four seconds remaining in the period, Hugo Gallet was called for slashing. Then, 5:36 into the second, Alexandre Texier and Kevin Hecquefeuille both received hooking minors at the same time to put the Swiss up on a 5-on-3 man advantage. But the penalties did not hurt the French until the 15:22 mark when Valentin Claireaux was called for tripping. On the power play, Ramon Untersander converted to make it 3-0 Switzerland. Corvi and Roman Josi had the assists.

In the third period, Kevin Fiala scored just 2:21 in to make it 4-0 Switzerland and the rout seemed to be on. But France would get one right back when Guillaume Leclerc scored at 3:10 from Florian Chakiachvili and Jordann Perret to cut the Swiss lead to 4-1.

The Swiss would then get into some penalty trouble of their own when, at 9:39, Noah Rod took an elowing minor. That was killed off and at 12:09, Corvi went off for goalie interference. That would prove the final dagger for the French though, as Simon Moser scored shorthanded at 13:46 from Joel Vermin and Mueller.

That made it 5-1 and, though the French would get another shot on the power play when Mueller went off for high sticking with about a minute left in the game, that was it. Five to one was your final and the Swiss end the prelims on a winning note.

Swiss goaltender Leonardo Genoni made 19 saves on 20 shots while French goalie Florian Hardy stopped 29 of 34 Swiss shots on goal. Of note was that dressing as the backup for the Swiss in this game was Devils prospect Gilles Senn. It was his first time dressing in the tournament.

As for a Devil who did play, Mirco Mueller had the two assists for two points and was a plus-4 in 18:16 of total ice time, over 33 shifts.

Since the top two teams in Group A (Russia and Sweden) are playing each other later today, it should not have much bearing on the Swiss. They should get into the medal rounds with 12 points (three regulation wins, one overtime win, one overtime loss and two regulation losses and a 25-19 goal differential). The Swiss will likely play Finland in the first part of the medal rounds. Finland, as we shall see, won Group B with a win over the Americans.

Meanwhile, over in Herning, the Americans had a crucial game with the Finns to determine who would win Group B. It would come down to number of regulation wins in this tightly contested group.

The Finns got off to a quick start courtesy of Sebastian Aho. He struck first at 10:17 into the first period, beating Keith Kinkaid off an assist from Veli-Matti Savinainen. He would then connect almost seven minutes later when he scored from Markus Nutivaara at 17:15. By the end of the first period, it was 2-0 Finland.

The second period was cleanly played with no penalties, but the Finns did add a goal to their lead to make it 3-0 when Mikko Rantanen scored from Nutivaara and Mikael Granlund. This would set up a chaotic third frame.

It began 5:15 in when the US was given a too many men on the ice bench minor. Marko Anttila converted on that power play from Sakari Manninen to make it 4-0 Finland. Things were not looking good for the Americans.

At the ten minute mark, though, Miika Koivisto went off for tripping and the US was on the power play. 1:18 later, they pulled Kinkaid for the 6-on-4 man advantage and it paid off when Patrick Kane scored to make it 4-1. Charlie McAvoy had the lone assist.

The Americans dug their hole a little bit deeper, however, when Dylan Larkin was called for tripping at 12:06 and Kasperi Kapanen scored on the power play to make it 5-1. Eeli Tolvanen and Savinainen had the assists.

The US would get one right back, though, less than a minute later when Derek Ryan scored from Kane and Chris Kreider. That made it 5-2 and the Americans pulled Kinkaid again at the 15:16 mark of the third.

Unfortunately, Aho struck once more, netting an empty net goal and completing the hat trick at 16:45. He got and assist from Tommi Kivisto. That madee it 6-2 and that was your final.

The Americans took consecutive penalties with time running out, Blake Coleman was called for goalie interference at 17:13 and at 19:11, Neal Pionk went off for high sticking, killing off the US chance for a comeback.

Keith Kinkaid made 30 stops on 36 Finnish shots while Harri Sateri made 35 saves on 37 shots against.

Will Butcher had two shots on goal and was a minus-2 over 18:39 of time on ice spread over 23 shifts. Blake Coleman had the goalie interference minor, two shots on goal and was an even plus/minus over 9:25 of ice time with 13 shifts. Brian Gibbons had two shots on goal and was an even rating in 8:28 of TOI over 13 shifts.

The Americans will finish in second place in Group B with 16 points (the same as Finland) with four regulation wins, two overtime wins, no overtime losses and a regulation loss. The Finns win the group due to having one more regulation win than the US, despite both teams tying in the points ledger.

With the first part of the medal rounds being crossover between groups, the US will likely play the Czech Republic in their next game, who finished third in Group A.

The quarterfinals for both the Swiss and the Americans get underway on May 17.

One final order of business: congratulations to Devils prospect and Swift Current Bronco Colby Sissons. The Broncos won the Western Hockey League and will now be playing for the Memorial Cup. Their first game is against the QMJHL champion Acadie-Bathurst Titan on May 19 at the Brandt Centre in Regina. We will have coverage of the Memorial Cup and the two teams featuring Devils prospects (the Hamilton Bulldogs and Marian Studenic are the other) right here for you.

Kane Scores Twice as US Defeats Norway

Following their blowout of Korea, Team USA was on a roll in the World Championships. Today, they knocked off Norway 9-3 on the strength of two goals from Patrick Kane.

Scott Darling and Keith Kinkaid split the duties for the US, making a combined 23 saves on 26 Norwegian shots. Henrik Haukeland and Lars Haugen made a combined 39 saves on 48 American shots. Kinkaid played the first two periods for the US, giving up one goal and leaving with an 8-1 lead. Haugen got the start for Norway and was pulled in the second period after giving up five.

Kane scored the first two goals of the game, the first at 8:24 of the first on the power play while Martin Roymark was in the box for boarding. Charlie McAvoy and Cam Atkinson had the assists on that goal.

His second came also on the power play – Tobias Lindstrom was off for hooking – and Kane converted at 12:18, after just seven seconds on the man advantage. Alex Debrincat and Atkinson had the assists.

At the 15:25 mark, McAvoy picked up his second point of the early going when he scored from Debrincat. The US had a 3-0 lead after 20 minutes of play.

Just prior to the end of the first period, at 19:11, Norway’s Mathis Olimb was called for holding, which put the Americans back on the power play going into the second. And just 1:03 in, Dylan Larkin connected, unassisted, to make it 4-0.

At 7:00, Norway would get one back when Kristian Forsberg beat Kinkaid. Lindstrom had the lone assist. That made it 4-1.

Then there was some scary stuff, as the Americans’ Tage Thompson was called for an illegal check to the head and neck area at 8:07 he also received a ten minute misconduct, so Anders Lee served the high hit penalty. The US, however, would notch one as the penalty expired at the 10:38 mark. Alec Martinez scored from Larkin to make it 5-1.

It was at this point that Haugen was pulled in favor of Haukeland.

Different goalie, same result for Norway, however. At 16:40, Lee scored for the US from Larkin and Johnny Gaudreau to make it 6-1.

That was followed up roughly three minutes later at 19:08 by an Atkinson goal from Nick Jensen and Kane. That one made it 7-1 at the end of two as the US was really making sure their goal differential (a crucial stat in this tournament) was padded.

Darling came in for the Americans in the third period and it only took Colin White 2:50 to score. He got assists from Nick Bonino and Connor Murphy to make it 8-1.

Then the US got into some penalty trouble. At 4:17, Neal Pionk took a hooking call. Seven seconds later, Murphy was called for delay of game and the US was two men down. The Norwegians would get one back on the 5-on-3, as Ken Andre Olimb scored from Alexander Bonsaksen and Jonas Holos. That made it 8-2.

A minute and four seconds after the Ken Andre Olimb goal, Mathis Olimb scored at even strength from Lindstrom and Christian Bull. That made it 8-3.

But the Americans would add one final one at 17:27 of the third when Pionk scored from Bonino and Chris Kreider to make it the final 9-3.

For the other Devils who played in the game, Will Butcher had a shot on goal and was a plus-1 in 18:24 over 22 shifts. Blake Coleman was an even plus/minus in 14:49 of time on ice over 16 shifts. Brian Gibbons had a shot and was an even plus/minus in 6:06 over nine shifts.

The US continues on in first place in Group B, with 16 points and four regulation wins and two overtime wins. Their goal differential also leads the group at 37-10. Next up for them, preliminary play concludes on May 15 against Finland. This game will be crucial, as the Finns currently stand behind the Americans in second place in Group B. We will have that for you here as well as the Switzerland-Sweden game later today.

US Routs South Korea 13-1

The American offense exploded for the first real time this World Championship tournament as they knocked off South Korea 13-1 to increase their goal differential to 28-7 and remain in first place in Group B.

Korea, as hard as it is to believe, actually took the early lead in this game. Johnny Gaudreau took a goalie interference penalty just 3:54 into the game and Jin Hui Ahn notched the first goal of the game from Sangwook Kim and Wonjun Kim. Korea had the early 1-0 lead, but that would be it for them on the day.

The US would tie things at 8:35 of the first when Anders Lee scored from Dylan Larkin and Gaudreau. And with that, the US blow out was on.

The Koreans took a bench minor for too many men on the ice at 12:36 to go with a high sticking penalty assessed at the same time for Hyonho Oh. That gave the US a 5-on-3 advantage and it only took Patrick Kane 20 seconds in to give the Americans the 2-1 lead. Gaudreau had the lone assist.

With the penalty now whittled down to a 5-on-4, Charlie McAvoy (a reinforcement from the recently-eliminated-from-the-playoffs Bruins) scored from Kane and Gaudreau. That one came at 13:29 of the first.

The Americans would make it 3-1 before the end of the first when McAvoy scored again this time from Chris Kreider and Larkin with less than a minute to go in the period.

A rare shorthanded goal scored on a four minute penalty made it 4-1 USA early in the second. At 2:54, Sonny Milano was given a double minor for high sticking and Derek Ryan actually scored for the US on it. Alec Martinez had the lone assist on the goal scored at 3:42.

The Devils’ Blake Coleman got in on the action at the 7:06 mark when he scored from Martinez and Colin White. It was now, at 6-1, that Korea made the choice to pull goaltender Matt Dalton in favor of Sungje Park.

But with Korea getting in so much penalty trouble, it would not be much help. At 8:32, Sanghoon Shin took a hooking call and it only took Patrick Kane nine seconds on the ensuing power play to connect. McAvoy had the lone assist. That made it 7-1.

The US went on another 5-on-3 when, at 11:45, Korea’s Alex Plante was called for hooking. Twenty-two seconds later, Jin Kyu Park was called for goalie interference and the US power play was up two men. Eleven seconds into the 5-on-3, Cam Atkinson scored to make it 8-1. Kane and McAvoy had the assists at 12:18 of the second.

The US onslaught continued in the third period. Tage Thompson scored at the 5:06 mark from Milano and Nick Jensen to make it 9-1.

Atkinson would strike again at 6:11 to make it 10-1 with assists to Kane and McAvoy, who was extremely effective coming into the tournament late as he did.

The eleventh goal came just as a power play was expiring. Woosang Park was called for tripping at 7:07 and at 9:09, just two seconds after the end of the power play, Neal Pionk scored for the Americans from Will Butcher. That gave another Devil a point and made it 11-1 USA.

At the 9:54 mark, Ahn was called for high sticking and the Americans were given another power play opportunity. Ryan scored on that one at the 11:40 mark from Alex Debrincat and Pionk. It was now 12-1 US.

Sonny Milano wrapped things up for the US with a goal with 1:10 remaining in the game. Debrincat and Thompson had the assists and that gave us our final of 13-1. All told, the US had scored a total of 12 unanswered goals.

Overall, it was a good night for the US. Scott Darling got the start over Keith KInkaid and made 12 saves on just 13 Korean shots. The Korean goaltenders combined for 44 saves on 57 American shots on goal. Korea ended the game with 22 penalty minutes to the Americans’ ten.

Individually, the Devils in the game played well. Will Butcher had the assist for a point, a shot on goal and was a plus-2 in 19:13 of ice time over 24 shifts. Blake Coleman had the goal for a point, five shots on goal, was a plus-1 in 10:01 of ice time over 14 shifts. Brian Gibbons had three shots on goal and was a plus-1 in 8:46 of ice time over 12 shifts.

With that pasting of Korea, the US now stands in first place over Canada in Group B. Canada does have a game in hand, as they will be taking on Finland tomorrow. The US has 13 points over five games with three wins and two overtime wins. The Americans next take on Norway on Sunday.

In the meantime, we will have the Swiss game against the Russians tomorrow right here. The Russians finally let in some goals, four in a 4-3 loss to the Czechs in overtime yesterday. We will see how the Swiss can do against the mighty Russians tomorrow.

USA Gets By Latvia in OT

The Americans continue to win at the 2018 IIHF World Championships, but it was not as easy against a game Latvian team earlier today. The US won 3-2 in overtime and remained in good position in Group B.

The US got the scoring started when Latvia took a too many men on the ice bench minor at the 10:34 mark. Just over a minute into the ensuing power play – at 11:39, Chris Kreider found the back of the net, beating netminder Elvis Merzlikins. That gave the Americans the early 1-0 lead. Alex Debrincat and Dylan Larkin had the assists there.

Keith KInkaid’s shutout streak was ended at the 17:52 mark of the first period when Uvis Balinskis beat him to tie the game at one apiece. Teodors Blugers and Rihards Bukarts had the assists.

In the second period, Latvia would take a 2-1 lead when the US got into some penalty trouble. Anders Lee was called for interference at the 2:31 mark of the second and at 3:20, Andris Dzerins beat Kinkaid to give Latvia the edge. Miks Indrasis and Roberts Bukarts had the assists.

Team USA now found themselves in the rare position of being behind in this tournament. But it was Colin White at the 17:38 mark who would be johnny on the spot to tie things for the Americans. His goal was assisted by Debrincat and Patrick Kane and had things all even at two.

A scoreless third period meant we were headed for overtime. And it was the power play that would do it again for the Americans. Just 38 seconds into the extra session, Oskars Cibulskis was nabbed for holding the stick and the US power play went to work.

Cam Atkinson would score the game winner from Johnny Gaudreau and Kane at 1:23 into the OT to give the US the win and two points. In a game filled with penalties (14 minutes for the Latvians and 12 for the Americans), it was fitting that the game winner came on the power play.

Kinkaid stopped 17 of 19 shots fired his way while the Latvian goaltender, Merzlikins, had to deal with 30 American shots, stopping 28 of them.

As for the other Devils in the game, Will Butcher was an even plus/minus in 23:19 of ice time over 31 shifts. Blake Coleman had a shot on goal and an even plus/minus in 13:27 of TOI over 20 shifts. Brian Gibbons had an even plus/minus while being used sparingly over 9:38 (14 shifts).

Team USA remains in first place in Group B with 10 points (two wins and two overtime wins) and a 15-6 goal differential. They remain just a point ahead of Finland, who lost to a weak Denmark team recently, but has Canada next.

As for the US, their next game is tomorrow against the last place South Koreans. Korea is looking for its first win of the tournament and has been outscored 29-2. It will be interesting to see if the US allows this to become a game or if they can finish off the Koreans quickly. We will find out tomorrow and will have it right here for you.