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by Staff Writer / Los Angeles Kings
KLOTEN, Switzerland – The U.S. Men's National Team fell to Switzerland, 5-2 , Tuesday night in its lone pre-tournament game prior to the 2009 International Ice Hockey Federation Men's World Championship in Berne and Zurich-Kloten, Switzerland, April 24-May 10. Dustin Brown (Ithaca, N.Y./Los Angeles Kings), who scored both U.S. goals, was named Team USA's Player of the Game.
Brown opened the game's scoring when he batted a rebound out of the air and into the open Swiss net for a five-on-three power-play goal at 8:13 of the opening period. With the U.S. two players short, Brown fired a shot over the blocker of Swiss goalie Martin Gerber at 14:30 and the U.S. held a 2-0 advantage after 20 minutes.
Switzerland got on the scoreboard at 8:25 of the middle stanza and capped a three-on-two rush at 13:44 to knot the scored headed into the third period.
The hosts scored the only three goals of the third period to gain the victory.
Robert Esche (Utica, N.Y./SKA St. Petersburg) played the first 29:41 in goal for Team USA and stopped all but one of the 17 shots he faced. Al Montoya (Chicago, Ill./Phoenix Coyotes/University of Michigan) played the final 30:19 and made 13 saves on 17 shots.
Team USA will begin play in the 2009 IIHF Men's World Championship on Saturday (April 25) at 10:15 a.m. EDT against Latvia. The United States will play two additional preliminary-round games against Austria (April 27) and Sweden (April 29) before the qualification round begins.
NOTES: Switzerland outshot Team USA, 34-24 ... All teams in the IIHF Men's World Championship may begin the tournament with 20 skaters and three goaltenders, and can add two players after the first three games ... The 2009 U.S. Men’s National Team is under the direction of Brian Burke, general manager; David Poile, associate general manager; and Jim Johannson, assistant executive director for hockey operations at USA Hockey. The U.S. Men's National Advisory Group, which includes Burke, Paul Holmgren (Philadelphia), Johannson, Dean Lombardi (L.A. Kings), Ray Shero (Pittsburgh) and Don Waddell (Atlanta), is charged with leading the selection of players for the U.S. Men's National Team. Tony Rossi, vice president of USA Hockey and its international council chair, oversees all aspects of international competition for USA Hockey … Ron Wilson, head coach of the Toronto Maple Leafs, is the head coach of the 2009 U.S. Men’s National Team and the 2010 U.S. Olympic Men's Ice Hockey Team. Scott Gordon, head coach of the New York Islanders, and Joe Sacco, head coach of the Lake Erie Monsters of the American Hockey League, are serving as assistant coaches for the 2009 U.S. Men's National Team.
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