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USA DROPS AUSTRIA, 6-2 IN IIHF WORLD CHAMPIONSHIP OPENER

by Staff Writer / Los Angeles Kings
MOSCOW, Russia – The U.S. Men’s National Team received goals from six different players en route to a 6-2 victory over Austria in the opening game of the 2007 International Ice Hockey Federation World Championship today. Erik Cole (Oswego, N.Y./Carolina Hurricanes/Clarkson University) and Lee Stempniak (West Seneca, N.Y./St. Louis Blues/Dartmouth College) each recorded a goal and an assist for Team USA, while Paul Stastny (Quebec City, Quebec/Colorado Avalanche/University of Denver) added two assists.


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“It’s great to start off the tournament with a victory,” said Mike Sullivan, head coach of Team USA. “I was especially pleased with our balanced scoring.”

Phil Kessel (Madison, Wis./Boston Bruins/University of Minnesota) opened the scoring at the 1:59 mark of the first period with a shot from the edge of the left faceoff circle that snuck under the crossbar. Toby Petersen (Minneapolis, Minn./Edmonton Oilers/Colorado College) gave Team USA a 2-0 lead at 10:22 during a 3-on-1 rush off a feed from Ryan Suter (Madison, Wis./Nashville Predators/University of Wisconsin).

Austria got on the scoreboard at 14:51 as Raimund Divis beat netminder John Grahame (Denver, Colo./Carolina Hurricanes/Lake Superior State University) from the low slot.

The United States took a 3-1 lead into the first intermission on a power-play tally by Stempniak at 17:19. Cole faked a shot from the point before sending a pass down low to Stempniak, who fired a one-timer past Austrian netminder Reinhard Divis.

The teams traded goals in the second period, as Team USA captain Chris Clark (South Windsor, Conn./Washington Capitals/Clarkson University) notched a tally : 24 into the frame, while Austria’s Oliver Setzinger made it a 4-2 contest at 10:51.

The United States struck early again in the third period when Brian Pothier (New Bedford, Mass./Washington Capitals/Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute) found a streaking Cole, who split two Austrian defenders and beat Divis under his right arm :14 into the stanza. Brandon Bochenski (Blaine, Minn./Boston Bruins/University of North Dakota) rounded out the scoring with a power-play goal at the 13:02 mark. Andrew Hutchinson (Evanston, Ill./Carolina Hurricanes/Michigan State University) tipped the puck from the right faceoff circle into the low slot to Bochenski, who put a shot into the top right corner of the net.

Grahame stopped 14-of-16 shots to earn the victory for Team USA. The United States finished 2-for-7 on the power play, while Austria was held scoreless in seven opportunities with a man advantage.

The United States will battle Belarus in its second of three preliminary-round games on Sunday (April 29) at 8:15 p.m. (local time)/12:15 p.m. (EDT).

NOTES: Team USA outshot Austria by a 47-16 margin, including an 18-1 advantage in the second period . . . The United States has won its opening game at the IIHF World Championship in each of the past three years . . . 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.
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