Four two periods, it appeared things wouldn't break right for the United States despite controlling the majority of the pace and puck possession Monday. After 40 minutes, Norway was on the brink of an upset with a two-goal lead, but after a furious rally in the third period, the Americans finally broke through with four goals to take a 4-2 comeback victory in group play at the IIHF World Championships in Kosice, Slovakia.
Team USA finally got on the board when Chris Kreider
found Nick Palmieri
on the right side of the net early in the third period. A score by Jack Skille
2:43 later tied the game, getting the U.S. off the hook of what would have potentially been a significant upset.
"In the third we started to move a little better. We were more in sync and we started to create more," American defenceman Jack Johnson
told the IIHF's official website. "Earlier [in the game] we weren't playing with enough confidence and making plays. But I thought we took over the game in the third."
The U.S. took the lead with Palmieri's second goal of the game at 13:44 of the third and a power-play goal by Craig Smith
put the game away for good with 86 seconds remaining. The U.S. now has six points after winning two games, while Norway, with an overtime victory and a loss to its credit, has just two points.
Norway had broken a scoreless tie 8:09 into the first period on a goal by Ken Andre Olimb, who jammed the puck past netminder Ty Conklin
. Norway took a 2-0 lead on a shorthanded goal by Anders Bastiansen 73 seconds later.
Czech Republic 6, Denmark 0
The Czech Republic sealed a berth in the Qualifying Round of the World Championships by beating up Denmark on Monday in Bratislava, Slovakia.
and Milan Michalek
spearheaded the Czech effort with two goals each, while Tomas Plekanec
and Petr Prucha
also scored. Ondrej Pavelec
made 24 saves for his first shutout in a World Championship game.
Finland 3, Latvia 2
scored a pair of power-play goals in regulation and added the decisive goal in a shootout as Finland held off Latvia on Monday in Bratislava, Slovakia.
and Herberts Vasiljevs had power-play goals for Latvia and goaltender Edgars Masalskis stopped 26 shots, but he yielded scores to Immonen and Mikko Koivu
in the shootout.
Sweden 3, Austria 0
Niklas Persson scored twice and Viktor Fasth was flawless for Sweden in blanking Austria on Monday in Kosice and clinching a berth in the Qualifying Round.
Persson scored in each of the first two periods, netting his first goal off a precision pass by Loui Eriksson
and later doubling Sweden's lead by redirecting a point shot by David Petrasek
. Magnus Paajarvi
would add the final tally on a third-period power play, capitalizing on the rebound of another Petrasek blast that was stopped.