Team USA will indeed be back at the IIHF Worlds Championships in 2011, as this year's club avoided relegation with a 3-2 shootout win over Italy.
Needing just one point to avoid the demotion, the Americans ensured that with the game tied 2-2 after 60 minutes of play in Germany. Outlasting the Italians in seven shootout rounds was just icing on the cake. The U.S. took first place in the relegation round and will return to next year's tournament in Slovakia, as will second-place France. Italy and Kazakhstan will be relegated.
Rangers forward Brandon Dubinsky, the tournament's leader in points to start the day, scored 11:45 into the game to put USA on the scoreboard first. The red, white and blue would remain up until Giulio Scandella lit the lamp following a breakaway to tie the game with six minutes remaining in the second period. The Italian goal ended the United States' shutout run of 156:02 in the tournament.
Italy temporarily took the lead 6:49 into third, when Stefano Margoni sent a wrist shot past U.S. goalie Scott Clemmensen. But the Americans were able to quickly find the equalizer, as Edmonton forward Ryan Potulny punched in a rebound at the 11:08 mark that would ultimately send the game into overtime.
The game would progress to a shootout, where T.J. Oshie would come up large for the U.S. The St. Louis forward converted three (including the game-winner) of his five attempts in the seven rounds to give the Americans the victory.
Ducks forward Ryan Carter was scoreless in 9:24 of play for Team USA. The 26-year-old finished the tournament with two points (one goal, one assist), a plus-one rating and an average of 11:48 of ice time in six games.