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Worlds: Stempniak Scores in Win Over Germany

by Staff Writer / St. Louis Blues
MOSCOW, Russia – Paul Stastny (Quebec City, Quebec/Colorado Avalanche/University of Denver) and Erik Cole (Oswego, N.Y./Carolina Hurricanes/Clarkson University) each accounted for three points and netminder John Grahame (Denver, Colo./Carolina Hurricanes/Lake Superior State University) stopped all 23 shots he faced to lead the U.S. Men’s National Team to a 3-0 shutout victory tonight over Germany in the second qualification-round game for both teams at the 2007 International Ice Hockey Federation World Championship.

With the victory, Team USA clinched a spot in the quarterfinal round, regardless of the outcome of its final qualification-round contest on Monday (May 7) against Canada at 8:15 p.m. (local)/12:15 p.m. (EDT).

“It was a quite a battle, just as we knew it would be,” said Mike Sullivan, head coach of Team USA. “I’m proud of our guys. They worked hard and we were able to pick up an important win.”

Team USA took a 1-0 lead on Stastny’s power-play goal at 2:33 of the first period. From the top of the left faceoff circle, Cole found an open Stastny in front of the crease for a tap-in goal.

Stastny then gave the United States a two-goal advantage at 15:26 of the middle frame when he buried his own rebound off another feed from Cole. After Stastny circled in front of the German net and put an initial shot on goal, the forward corralled the rebound and slipped the puck between German netminder Dimitri Patzold’s right skate and the left post.

Lee Stempniak (West Seneca, N.Y./St. Louis Blues/Dartmouth College) capped off the scoring at the 13:31 mark of the third period. Stationed behind the German net, Cole sent a feed into the low slot for Stempniak, who beat Patzold to the stick side.

Team USA finished 1-for-6 on the power play, while Germany was held scoreless in nine attempts.
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