It was a victorious Saturday as all three Panthers players and their teams playing were on the winning end. The US kept it's pursuit up for the top spot in their group with a victory over France while Sweden and Germany also recorded wins.
UNITED STATES 4 - FRANCE 2
HELSINKI, Finland - A chance to take over the top spot in Group H (at least for a couple of hours), the United States netted two in the first and didn't look back as they defeated France 4-2 Saturday.
The Americans actually had two power plays within the first five minutes of the game but were unable to get on the scoreboard. New Jersey's Stephen Gionta would not be denied 7:08 in as he beat Cristobal Huet. Bobby Butler gave the US an all-important 2-0 lead before the first came to an end as he netted his second of the tournament with 2:43 to play.
While the US couldn't find the scoresheet on the power play, France did just that thanks to a 5-on-3 opportunity in the second. Kevin Hecquefeuille beat Ben Bishop 8:24 into the second to make it a 2-1 game after forty minutes of play. They were certainly in the game despite being outshot 25-10 through two periods.
Paul Stastny's and Daid Moss' and third of the Championships less than two minutes apart with less than 10 minutes to play sealed the victory however. Stastny made it a 3-1 game with 8:23 to play while Moss' power play tally was recorded with 6:37. Yorick Treille gave the French their second goal of the game with 90 seconds remaining.
Forward Nick Bjugstad finished with two shots and was a minus-1 on 10:40 of ice time.
GERMANY 2 - LATVIA 0
HELSINKI, Finland - In what has become the norm for Germany, their game was a close contest but they came out on top for the second time in the tournament as they earned a 2-0 shutout of Latvia.
Rob Zepp and Kristers Gudlevskis made it tough on the offenses as they turned aside 58 of the 60 shots put up. Zepp, of course, was perfect in stopping all 26 of Latvia's shots, including 14 in the opening period.
After a scoreless first despite 30 combined shots, Germany finally found a goal past Gudlevskis when Christoph Ullmann scored with 8:05 gone in the period. Patrick Hager made it a 2-0 game 3:05 into the third and Zepp did the rest for the victory.
Marcel Goc had four shots on net on 16:38 of ice time for Germany.
SWEDEN 2 - SLOVENIA 0
STOCKHOLM, Sweden - It wasn't easy for the favored Swedes against Slovenia but in the end three points is three points as they picked up a 2-0 shutout victory.
Buffalo's Jhonas Enroth got the start and was efficient in turning away all 21 saves. And despite posting 40 shots on Latvian netminder Luka Gracnar, Sweden was only able to find two goals along the way.
The teams played a scoreless first as Sweden outshot Latvia 19-4. They were finally rewarded for the shots disparity when Colorado's Gabriel Landeskog scored 5:50 into the second. A penalty early in the third gave Tre Kroner their second goal as Fredrik Pettersson scored 2:51 in.
Jacob Markstrom suited up in the backup role for Sweden.