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USA Powers Past Slovakia 6-1

by Staff Writer / Florida Panthers
United States/Slovakia Highlights

By Glenn Odebralski for

With the scoring power that the United States has on it's team, even playing shorthanded, they really don't need any help when it comes to giving them opportunities to put one in the net.

But that was the case as Slovakia kept handing them power play attempts by taking penalty after penalty in Tuesday night's game. The Americans gladly accepted them on their way to scoring three goals on the man advantage in their 6-1 victory.

"One of the things we wanted to do was be disciplined going into the game and they took some penalties early so I think that was one of the reasons we were able to be successful," added Cats second-rounder (2009 NHL Draft) Drew Shore who finished with a goal on six shots and a plus-one. "Palmieri got us off to a great start and we were just able to role from there."

Playing with just 11 forwards due to injuries to center Brock Nelson and winger Jerermy Morin, the shorthanded Americans got started early. Ducks prospect Kyle Palmieri got things started 4:31 into the first period as Charlie Coyle set him up for the chip in off the rush.

After that, Slovakia started the parade to the box in a major way.

Leafs prospect Jerry D'Amigo was crushed into the boards from behind by P Hrasko netting the US a five-minute power play.

Drew Shore following the United States 6-1 victory over Slovakia
They would cash in as Palmieri netted his second of the night, scoring from the goal line to the near post.

After one period of play, it was 2-0 United States, with them outshooting Slovakia 22-1.

"Outshooting them 22-1 in the first period, it's one of those things, you always want to get a good start as a team," said Palmieri. "The fact that we went out there, dominated the first period, I think wore on their confidence and helped us out as the game went on."

"I think that early lead helped a lot," said Panthers prospect Nick Bjugstad who finished with an assist on a game-high seven shots and was a plus-1. "We had a lot of momentum and we just kept bringing it to them. We emphasized that in the locker room in between periods. Coaches made sure we were putting the pedal down to the metal and we kept doing that."

Charlie Coyle would collect his third point of the night (assisted on first two goals) when he scored on yet another USA power play 3:59 into the second by putting it top shelf over Riecicky's left shoulder from just above the goal line.

On the third American's power play goal, Chris Brown collected the pass from in the slot and slid the puck past the goaltender with 8:13 left in the middle frame.

"They took a quite a few penalties and we have got a lot of skilled guys on the team," said Bjugstad. "We capitalized a lot on the power plays and that also helps (in getting the win)."

Nick Bjug following the United States 6-1 victory over Slovakia
Slovakia got on the board for the first time of the night when they answered Brown's goal just 47 seconds later as Tomas Jurco took the cross ice feed from Juraj Majdan and put it into the wide open net as Campbell was out of position.

Looking to gain the momentum and get back in the game, Marek Hrivik found himself wide open on the very next shift but with Campbell out of position, the puck bounced and he couldn't get a good shot off.

Shore would give the United States a four goal lead again off a fantastic individual effort. Going coast to coast, he deked his way around Andrej Kudrna before deking out Riecicky and putting the puck top shelf off the back hand with 6:28 left in the period.

"I grabbed the puck in the neutral zone and kind of had a one-on-one," said Shore. "I thought I had a chance to beat the guy so I slid it through his stick and I was able to beat the goalie so I was pretty happy to get that one."

Then boos rang to cheers (at least for a split second) as Emerson Etem snapped one by a handcuffed Riecicky making it 6-1 with 3:03 left in the second. That would be the end for the Slovakia netminder. Put in front of the shooting gallery, he would finish with 34 saves on 40 attempts.

"I thought it was the most complete game we've played since we've been assembled," said Shore. "We've gotten better every day."

With the teams trying to get to the end of the game, Slovakia took another five-minute major for hit to the head as Jason Zucker was crippled by a shot from behind with 7:51 left in the game by Martin Marancin.

The United States didn't score on that power play, but they didn't have to with a 6-1 lead already.

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