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USA Holds off Kazakhstan in Overtime

by John Sanful / Winnipeg Jets

Team USA defeated Kazakhstan 4-3 on the strength of two power play goals and an overtime winner by Seth Jones.

This was a big win for the Americans after two difficult losses to Russia and Latvia. As team standings in Group is getting crowded, the win helps the United States in their effort to advance into the playoff round.

In the first period, Team USA took four minor penalties inside or fourteen minutes, keeping Kazakhstan on the man advantage. With the first Kazakhstan hovered around the net but was not able to generate much offense.

On the second power play, Kazakhstan was able to get a glorious chance as Roman Starchenko’s shot rang off the post.

It wasn’t until Andy Miele was called for a hooking penalty that Kazakhstan was able to convert. Starchenko finally scored for all the effort he’d put in. Dmitri Upper sent a pass to Starchenko who potted it into the back of the net.

Craig Smith scored to level the game at 18:38 as Alexei Litvinenko was serving a holding penalty. Smith has shown the form he held last year at the World Championships when as the team’s leading scorer, he led his side to a bronze medal.

Konstantin Romanov scored 1:21 into the second with Connor Murphy as a screen. Tim Thomas making his fifth straight start in the tournament, had no time to react as the shot when stick side.

Peter Mueller sent a shot that hit the post when again Team USA was on the power play. On the same power play Seth Jones rocketed a slapshot from the point that Alexei Ivanov saw sail by.

Jones has turned up his play considerably. With a goal and two assists yesterday and two goals and assist today, Jones has six points in twenty-four hours.

Kazakhstan was able to get composed and had a charge with about eight minutes remaining in the second. But instead of going up one, they were down a goal when Donovan scored off a one timer of a beautiful, extra effort pass from Johnny Gaudreau. Gaudreau broke in between two defensemen and was taken down. While on his stomach, he managed to get off a pass to Donovan.

Team USA dominated the period, outshooting Kazakhstan 18-3.

Kazakhstan resumed their form from the first period, taking the attack to the Americans. Vadim Krasnoslobodtsev moved in with a chance that Tim Thomas blocked away. Mikhail Panshin also tried to score but Thomas showed good position in staying with the puck.

Roman Starchenko’s second of the game came at the right time fir his team to tie the game at two and sent it into overtime.

In overtime, Jones was able to get off a slapshot that was stopped by Ivanov. The USA kept the pressure in the Kazakh end until Jones with another opportunity wins it with a rifle of a wrist shot at 3:55.

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