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by Staff Writer / Los Angeles Kings
BUDAPEST, HUNGARY/MANCHESTER, NH – The USA Hockey InLine National Team (6-0-0) including former Monarchs forward Sam Ftorek and defensemen Troy Milam and Doug Nolan, claimed the gold medal with a 6-0 victory over defending gold medalist Sweden at the 2006 International Ice Hockey Federation InLine Hockey World Championship. The win marks the first time in the history of the event that the gold medal game was decided by a shutout.

"It feels great to win the gold again," said Lee Sweatt (Elburn, Ill.). "We played unbelievable defense today and were able to capitalize when we needed to. We shut Sweden down defensively and got a great win."

Ernie Hartlieb (Sterling Heights, Mich.) led Team USA in points with one goal and two assists. Chris Peterson (Clinton Township, Mich.), Aaron Moss (Denver, Colo.) and Chris Popescu (Sterling Heights, Mich.) each added two points in the win.

After a scoreless first quarter, Team USA registered three unanswered goals in the second quarter. Hartlieb tallied the first goal of the game off an assist from Bill Sweatt (Elburn, Ill.) at 2:28. Peterson found the back of the net off an assist from Derek Kern (Smithtown, N.Y.) less than two minutes later to give the U.S. a 2-0 lead. Popescu notched a goal at 11:50 to extend Team USA's lead to 3-0 heading into the second half.

The U.S. scored the only goal in the third quarter when Moss lit the lamp off an assist from Hartlieb on a power-play at 7:33, increasing the U.S. lead to 4-0 going into the final stanza.

Team USA capitalized on Sweden's penalties in the fourth quarter, notching two power-play goals. Peterson scored his second goal of the game off a feed from Popescu and Hartlieb at 6:05. Moss tallied the final goal of the game at 9:22 to give the U.S. the 6-0 victory.

U.S. goaltender James Bufalino (Grosse Pointe Farms, Mich.) stopped all 22 shots on goal in the shut out. Sweden's Johan Olsson and Mikael Heinz combined to stop 34 shots on goal.

Notes: Sweatt was named U.S. player of the game...Hartlieb and Popescu each finished the tournament with nine points...In the 11-year history of the event, the United States has earned gold medals in 1996, 1997, 1999, 2004 and 2006; silver medals in 1998 and 2001; and bronze medals at the 2000, 2003 and 2005 tournaments...Ftorek finished the tournament with six points (4-2=6), Nolan had four (2-2=4) and Milam collected three (1-2=3).

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