John Hynes’ US squad suffered their third loss of the 2016 IIHF World Championship in heartbreaking fashion. In a game that seemed destined to go beyond regulation, tied at two, the German team found a way to come out with the “W”.
Germany took the early lead off a power play goal by Patrick Hager at 2:19 into the game. It was set up by a Chris Wideman tripping penalty and the goal was assisted by Felix Schutz and Daryl Boyle.
In a relatively penalty filled first period – the US had two penalties for four minutes total but Germany had eight penalty minutes off four minor penalties, the US was able to pull even while the teams were at equal strength. Jake McCabe scored at 10:35 to tie things up at one. JT Compher and Connor Murphy had the assists.
Two and a half minutes later, Germany would retake the lead when Christian Ehrhoff scored to make it 2-1. Schutz and Hager had the assists.
But penalties would play a factor in getting the US back into things. Right as the first period was ending, Marcus Kink took a cross-checking penalty and the Americans would capitalize early in the second. Just 26 seconds in, Auston Matthews scored to tie things at two. Brock Nelson had the lone helper.
Germany would take another six minutes in penalties in the second frame, giving Team USA plenty of chances on the power play. But the US would not take advantage with the extra man and allowed Germany to hang around in the game.
But in the third period, only one team took a penalty and it was the Americans (Vince Hinostroza, a goalie interference call with a little less than ten minutes left in the game) and it would play no bearing in the outcome.
Things were rolling along until, with just 33 seconds left in regulation, Korbinian Holzer wrote his name in the annals of German hockey history when he scored to give Team Germany a 3-2 win over the USA. Marcel Goc had the lone assist.
In the goaltending column, the Islanders’ Thomas Greiss made 31 saves for the Germans off 33 US shots. Mike Condon made 11 saves on just 14 German shots. Germany finished the game with 14 penalty minutes to the USA’s six. Although the US scored both of their goals on the power play and Germany was 0-for-3 with the man advantage.
Devils-wise, Steve Santini had a shot on net in 6:09 of ice time spread out over seven shifts. Miles Wood had one shot, was a minus-1 all in 10:05 of ice time on 15 shifts. David Warsofsky had two shots on goal, was a minus-1 in 15:57 of ice time on 23 shifts.
The US finishes up the preliminary round against Slovakia on Tuesday.
In other action, Sweden took on Switzerland in Moscow, coming away with a 3-2 edging of the Swiss in a shootout. This was a very similar game to the USA-Germany contest in some ways, with Switzerland racking up 18 penalty minutes and Sweden ending up with 16.
Switzerland actually took an early 1-0 lead when Sven Andrighetto of the Montreal Canadiens scored at 18:21 of the first period (assist to Noah Schneeberger).
Midway through the second, with Sweden on the power play after Nino Niederreiter went off for roughing, Johan Sundstrom scored to tie things at one. Linus Omark and Magnus Nygren had the assists on Sundstrom’s goal.
Early in the third period, Sweden took a bench minor for too many men on the ice and Switzerland connected on the power play. Denis Hollenstein scored from Eric Blum and Andres Ambuhl to put the Swiss up 2-1. Then, about four minutes later, after Adam Larsson was called for an elbowing minor, Switzerland’s Samuel Walser was called for interference. When Larsson’s penalty expired, it gave the Swedes a brief power play and they would capitalize on it. Gustav Nyquist scored off assists from Larsson and Robert Rosen to tie the game up at two with just under ten minutes left in the game.
And that was it for regulation. When the five minute overtime ended without a goal as well, it was off to a shootout.
Niederreiter scored one for the Swiss on goalie Jacob Markstrom, while Sweden got two goals from Andre Burakovsky on Reto Berra, giving Sweden the 3-2 shootout win.
Goalie Markstrom made 27 saves for Sweden on 29 shots faced and stopped the Swiss on 3-out-of-5 rounds in the shootout while Berra made 33 saves on 36 Swedish shots faced and was 2-for-4 in the shootout for Switzerland.
Adam Larsson’s stat line saw him register an assist, four shots on goal and two penalty minutes in a team-high 29:39 of ice time across 36 shifts.
Sweden plays their next game on Tuesday in a showdown with Russia.