The Winnipeg Jets have seven players participating in the 2017 IIHF World Hockey Championship, held in Paris, France and Cologne, Germany. Check back throughout the tournament for daily updates, highlights and more as Mark Scheifele, Josh Morrissey and Eric Comrie of Canada, Nikolaj Ehlers of Denmark, and Jacob Trouba, Andrew Copp and Connor Hellebuyck of the U.S. go for gold.
USA 3 vs. ITALY 0
It was wire-to-wire the most lopsided game we've seen at the 2017 World Hockey Championship.
Brock Nelson scored twice and Jimmy Howard made nine saves as the United States cruised to a one-sided 3-0 win over Italy.
At a glance, the final score seemed to offer some reprieve, but make no mistake: It was a thrashing.
With the win, the U.S. improves to 3-0-0-1 for nine points, keeping pace with Latvia and Russia for one of the Top 3 spots in Group A. They will now have the next two days off before returning to action on Saturday against the aforementioned, upstart Latvians.
Andrew Copp and Jacob Trouba were both held off the score sheet in 11:05 and 17:50 of ice time, respectively. Connor Hellebuyck served as Howard's backup for the second straight game.
Nelson opened the scoring for U.S. by capitalizing on a turnover at 5:17 of the first. A careless, no-look backhand pass into the middle by Italian defenceman Daniel Glira was easily picked off by Nelson, who buried it with a beautiful shot over the glove to give the Americans an early 1-0 lead.
Italy was fortunate not to be trailing by more than a goal when the horn sounded to end the one-sided opening frame. The U.S. had dominated the period, outshooting the Italians 9-2, while limiting them to less than a minute of controlled zone time.
It was more of the same throughout in the middle stanza, with the Americans firing 14 shots on Italy's Player of the Game, 26-year-old goaltender Andreas Bernard. Bernard held the fort in first five minutes, but eventually - after an extended period of pressure deep in the offensive zone - the floodgates opened with two goals in 1:55 to give the U.S. a three-goal lead by the eight-minute mark.
Nelson got things rolling with No. 2 on the night - a shorthanded marker - at 5:53 off a beautiful feed from the speedy Dylan Larkin. Nelson started the play with a terrific effort at the defensive blue line before turning it up ice and creating a partial 2-on-1. Larkin then feathered a pass into the goalmouth and Nelson, fighting off a defender, put a one-handed tip just under the bar.
A power-play goal by Anders Lee, who stuffed it home at the side of the net, rounded out the early offensive barrage.
Shots on goal were 23-5 in favour of the U.S. after 40 two periods and 32-9 after a scoreless third.