Any win is a good win.
The outcome could have been a lot worse, especially with the United States owning the ice and recording 3.5 times the amount of shots as Germany, but a 4-0 victory over the Germans puts the Americans one win away from an automatic birth in the semifinals. The United States would pot two goals in each of their first two periods on the way to the shutout.
"We played pretty well," said center Drew Shore
who finished with three shots and was a plus-one. "They were a pretty tough team in the sense that they're very good defensively and they work hard as a group so I was pretty happy with the win."
"We started off well again. We're starting to play a lot more as a team," said center Nick Bjugstad
who finished with an assist on two shots and was a plus-one. "We're coming together here and I think game by game we're getting a lot better."
Getting the start in net for Germany, Niklas Treutle was tested early and often but came up with some big stops to keep the powerful offensive at bay most of the night despite seeing 48 shots in the affair.
"He played really well. He kept them in the game," said Shore of Treutle. "I know I had a lot of chances and he played really well."
The United States tandem of Jack Campbell (14 saves in 50:27) and Andy Iles (0 saves in 9:33) had a much quieter night on their end in sharing the shutout.
"It's always tough when the other team doesn't give too much action," said Campbell. "It's just a credit to my teammates and how well they played in front of me tonight.
"It means more to share it (the shutout) with Andy. He deserves a shutout and I'm confident that if he was in there tonight, he'd be getting a full shutout too. It's a complete team effort."
Shore had the first great chance of the game, just 1:30 but Niklas Treutle just got enough of his backhanded shot off the rebound originally shot by Chris Brown.
|Drew Shore following the United States 4-0 victory. |
The Americans had chance to get their first of the night five minutes in as Charlie Coyle fed the pass to Ryan Bourque off a rush. The Ranger prospect rung it off the left post however.
Working on their first power play of the night, the Americans got a good chance 7:09 in but Chris Kreider's shot from in front of the net was stopped by Treutle. Later, Shore let one rip that hit the goalie and went just wide of the net as Bjugstad and Brian Dumoulin looked to put in the rebound from in close.
Germany's best chance of the first came at the 11:35 mark when Mirko Hofflin and Laurin Braun worked their way into the US zone on a two-on-one break. US captain John Ramage however slid and got enough of the attempted pass and Hofflin's shot went wide of the cage.
Team USA finally found the back of the net with 7:23 to play in the first. Coyle worked his way out from the side wall and after fending off a defender put the puck off the post and just over goalie's glove.
They would add to it 48 seconds later. Emerson Etem caused a turnover along the wall with pressure and a hit and Jerry D'Amigo picked up the puck and snapped it by Treutle.
After one period of play it was 2-0 with the Americans outshooting Germany 23-2.
|Jack Campbell following the United States 4-0 victory. |
"I think one thing we do well as a team is we have a lot of speed so the first five (minutes) we're trying to get in and wear teams down," said Shore. "I think over time that it kind of wears on them throughout the game but the first five is probably the most important."
Looking for a wraparound attempt 3:52 into the second, Etem would send the puck through the crease and just out of the reach of Bjugstad who was set up for the tap in.
Using his big body to fend off a defender and dig the puck off the wall, Bjugstad threw the puck back to John Merrill and then made his way to the middle of the ice to set what was a triple screen and Merrill fired it top shelf for the goal 7:54 in.
"I was just battling in the corner and I came out with it and saw Johnny Merrill at the point and he was wide open so I just hit him with the pass and it went in," said Bjugstad. "It was a good shot by Johnny."
Then Kreider recorded the USA's second power play of the night, scoring from the slot 13:10 in.
Germany had another good chance with 12:12 left to play in the game but playing in front of the net, Shore knocked the puck out of harms way.
The United States will play Switzerland tomorrow in the night cap of three games at HSBC Arena.
"They're a good fast team," said Bjugstad."It will be another good game. Hopefully we can come out as hard as we did tonight."