MOSCOW, Russia – Paul Stastny (Quebec City, Quebec/Colorado Avalanche/University of Denver) and Erik Cole (Oswego, N.Y./Carolina Hurricanes/Clarkson University) each accounted for three points and netminder John Grahame (Denver, Colo./Carolina Hurricanes/Lake Superior State University) stopped all 23 shots he faced to lead the U.S. Men’s National Team to a 3-0 shutout victory tonight over Germany in the second qualification-round game for both teams at the 2007 International Ice Hockey Federation World Championship.
Czech Republic 4 – USA 3USA 5 - Belarus 1USA 6 - Austria 2USA 5 - Sweden 3
With the victory, Team USA clinched a spot in the quarterfinal round, regardless of the outcome of its final qualification-round contest on Monday (May 7) against Canada at 8:15 p.m. (local)/12:15 p.m. (EDT).
“It was a quite a battle, just as we knew it would be,” said Mike Sullivan, head coach of Team USA. “I’m proud of our guys. They worked hard and we were able to pick up an important win.”
Team USA took a 1-0 lead on Stastny’s power-play goal at 2:33 of the first period. From the top of the left faceoff circle, Cole found an open Stastny in front of the crease for a tap-in goal.
Stastny then gave the United States a two-goal advantage at 15:26 of the middle frame when he buried his own rebound off another feed from Cole. After Stastny circled in front of the German net and put an initial shot on goal, the forward corralled the rebound and slipped the puck between German netminder Dimitri Patzold’s right skate and the left post.
Lee Stempniak (West Seneca, N.Y./St. Louis Blues/Dartmouth College) capped off the scoring at the 13:31 mark of the third period. Stationed behind the German net, Cole sent a feed into the low slot for Stempniak, who beat Patzold to the stick side.
Team USA finished 1-for-6 on the power play, while Germany was held scoreless in nine attempts.
NOTES: Paul Stastny was named Team USA’s Best Player of the Game . . . The United States has now advanced to the quarterfinal round at the IIHF World Championship in each of the past four years . . . Team USA has killed off 28-of-29 opponent power plays to lead the tournament with a 96.5% kill rate . . . Team USA’s 21 goals have been scored by 12 different players . . . The United States has won four of its first five games at the 2007 IIHF World Championship, which marks Team USA’s best start since it began the 2000 tournament with a 4-0-2 record . . . Lee Stempniak is the lone U.S. player to have at least one point in each of Team USA’s five games to date in the IIHF World Championship. With 4-3--7, he is Team USA’s leading point-getter ... John Grahame has played every minute of Team USA’s five games in the World Championship and has four wins to his credit . . . All 56 games of the 2007 IIHF World Championship are available live and on-demand at WCSN.com. In addition, select games, including all Team USA contests, are available on DISH Network Pay-Per-View . . . Barry Smith, head coach and director of hockey operations with SKA St. Petersburg of the Russian Elite League, is serving as associate head coach of Team USA, while David Quinn, associate head coach for the Boston University men’s ice hockey team, is serving as assistant coach.