HALIFAX, Nova Scotia - Brandon Dubinsky (Anchorage, Alaska/New York Rangers) scored three times to help the U.S. Men's National Team to a 9-1 victory over Norway in the final qualifying-round game for both teams at the 72nd annual International Ice Hockey Federation World Championship.
"I was certainly pleased with the way we came back and played after a very tough game yesterday," said John Tortorella, head coach of Team USA. "We'll look forward to a good practice tomorrow and get ready for the quarterfinal game on Wednesday."
Team USA jumped to a 3-0 lead after the opening period. Dubinsky darted from the right circle to the slot and beat Pal Grotnes between the legs at 11:12 for the first goal of the game. Just 1:03 later, Dustin Brown (Ithaca, N.Y./L.A. Kings) capitalized off a Norway turnover and blasted one home from between the circles. Then, with just 57 seconds left in the period, Patrick Kane (Buffalo, N.Y./Chicago Blackhawks) converted a cross-crease pass from Zach Parise (Faribault, Minn./New Jersey Devils/University of North Dakota) with Team USA on the power play.
Dubinsky's second goal of the game, off the rebound of a Keith Ballard (Baudette, Minn./Phoenix Coyotes/University of Minnesota) shot from the point at 5:48 of the second period, made it 4-0 for Team USA. After Mats Trygg scored Norway's lone goal at 8:08, Paul Martin (Minneapolis, Minn./New Jersey Devils/University of Mnnesota) made a nifty move down the left side and tucked one in past Grotnes with the teams skating four-on-four at 11:19 to make it 5-1. Parise was on the receiving end of a pass from behind the net off the stick of Patrick O'Sullivan (Winston-Salem, N.C./L.A. Kings) and put the puck between the legs of Grotnes with Team USA on the power play at 12:18 for the final goal of the second stanza.
The U.S. added three more goals in the third period. Brown tallied his second goal of the game at 2:33 with a shot from the bottom of the left circle. Phil Kessel (Madison, Wis./Boston Bruins/University of Minnesota) tapped one home from the goal-mouth after a highlight-reel, blind spin-o-rama pass from Kane at 5:44. Dubsinky capped the scoring with a power-play goal at 11:35 on a shot from the top of the circles as Adam Burish (Madison, Wis./Chicago Blackhawks/University of Wisconsin) provided a screen.
Esche finished with 17 saves, while Grotnes and Ruben Smith combined to make 39 saves for Norway.
The U.S. Men's National Team will play a quarterfinal game Wednesday (May 14) against either Canada or Finland. If the U.S. plays Finland, the game will start at 8:15 p.m., while if the U.S. faces Canada, the game will begin at 4:30 p.m.
NOTES: Team USA had a 48-18 edge in shots on goal ... The nine goals scored were the most by Team USA in the World Championship since a 9-4 win over Norway in on April 23, 1990. Additionally, the eight-goal margin of victory was the most for a U.S. team since an 11-2 victory over Poland in the 1989 World Championship ... Brandon Dubinsky was named the U.S. Player of the Game ... Patrick Kane (3-7--10), Dustin Brown (5-4--9), Phil Kessel (5-4--9), Zach Parise (5-3--8) and Paul Martin (1-7--8) are Team USA's top point-getters through six games of the World Championship ... All 56 games from the 2008 IIHF Men's World Championship will be broadcast live on WCSN.com . The 2008 U.S. Men's National Team is under the direction of Jim Johannson, USA Hockey's assistant executive director of hockey operations, and a four-member advisory group, including NHL general managers Brian Burke (Anaheim), David Poile (Nashville), Ray Shero (Pittsburgh) and Don Waddell (Atlanta). Tony Rossi, vice president of USA Hockey and its international council chair, oversees all aspects of international competition for USA Hockey.