Team USA remained unbeaten at the 2015 IIHF World Championships with a workmanlike 2-1 win over Norway. For Norway it was their second straight loss in the tournament but a much better effort than in their loss to Russia.
A second period goal by Brock Nelson would give the United States a lead that they would not relinquish. Connor Hellebuyck, making his second start in net, was once again steady, stopping 22 of 23 shots.
Team USA and Norway both played their second game in as many nights.
Norway came out much better than they did the night before. They took the play to the Americans and were rewarded for it by scoring the first goal of the game.
Ole-Kristian Tollefsen took a slap shot in the right faceoff circle to the USA net. Hellebuyck made the save but a big juicy rebound came to Morten Ask who responded quickly and deposited the puck in the net. The goal, coming at 11:21, marked the first time in Norway was playing with a lead at ČEZ Arená.
The USA would strike back at 12:14 when Trevor Lewis scored in front. A Justin Faulk shot left a rebound that Norwegian defenders could not control. Jimmy Vesey collected the puck, sent it over to Lewis for the score.
The tie was broken at 5:58 of the second period. A hard wrist shot by Torey Krug was tipped on its way to the net by Brock Nelson and deflected into the goal. Starting goaltender Lars Haugen had little chance in reacting to it. Trevor Lewis picked up his second point of the game with an assist on the play.
Nelson’s goal, his second of the tournament, made some spectator look prophetic. In that upper corner of that end of the ice by the Norwegian zone, a simple sign was hung up during the game that said BROCK NELSON YOU’LL SCORE!!! GO USA GO!!!
It was the first lead of the game for the Americans. They would hold on and keep Norway’s chances manageable while still trying to generate some of their own. In addition, Matt Hendricks was lost for a good stretch of the second period when he was given a two-minute penalty for checking to the head and neck area and a ten-minute misconduct.
As time wound down there were fewer scoring chances on either end. With a little over thirty seconds remaining Norway called a timeout and pulled their goaltender but all too late as the game clock reached zero.
Both goaltenders were recognized as best players of the game. Lars Haugen made 29 saves on the evening.