MOSCOW, Russia – The U.S. Men’s National Team dropped a 6-3 decision to Canada tonight in the third and final qualification-round game for both teams at the 2007 International Ice Hockey Federation World Championship. Paul Stastny (Quebec City, Quebec/Colorado Avalanche/University of Denver) recorded a pair of goals for Team USA for the second straight game, while Lee Stempniak (West Seneca, N.Y./St. Louis Blues/Dartmouth College) added a goal and an assist.
Team USA, which finished as the No. 2 seed in Group F, will face Finland in the quarterfinal round on Thursday (May 10). Game time will be announced tomorrow.
“I think it’s safe to say this wasn’t our best game,” said Mike Sullivan, head coach of Team USA. “Give Canada credit, they jumped all over us, particularly in the first period. We’ll put this game behind us and get ready for Finland on Thursday.”
Canada took a 4-0 lead after one period. Jay McClement opened the scoring eight seconds into the game on a slap shot from between the faceoff circles that beat U.S. netminder John Grahame (Denver, Colo./Carolina Hurricanes/Lake Superior State University) to the glove side. Mike Cammalleri notched a power-play goal at 2:05 to give Canada a 2-0 lead, followed by tallies from Matthew Lombardi and Cammalleri at 12:48 and 13: 25, respectively.
Stastny put the United States on the scoreboard at 9:47 of the second period when he knocked home the rebound of a David Backes
(Minneapolis, Minn./St. Louis Blues/Minnesota State University Mankato) shot from the top of the right faceoff circle.
After Lombardi made it a 5-1 game with a slap shot from the left faceoff circle at 15:19, Stempniak notched his fifth goal of the tournament off a pass from Erik Johnson (Bloomington, Minn./St. Louis Blues/University of Minnesota) at 17:49 to round out the second-period scoring.
Lombardi completed his hat trick at 11:58 of the third period when he put a low shot past U.S. goaltender Jason Bacashihua (Garden City, Mich./St. Louis Blues), who replaced Grahame after the second intermission.
Stastny closed out the scoring with a rebound tally of a Stempniak attempt at the 13:42 mark of the final frame.