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Team USA Rallies to Beat Norway; Smith Scores Again

by Staff Writer / Nashville Predators
from USA Hockey press release


U.S. Men's National Team Defeats Norway, 4-2,at 2011 IIHF World Men's Championship
Nick Palmieri Scores Twice for Team USA

KOSICE, Slovakia – The U.S. Men's National Team scored the only four goals of the third period, including a power-play tally from Preds prospect Craig Smith and two goals by Nick Palmieri (Utica, N.Y./New Jersey Devils), to rally from a 2-0 deficit and defeat Norway, 4-2, today in its second game of the 2011 International Ice Hockey Federation World Men's Championship.

With the victory, Team USA improved to 2-0-0-0 (W-OTW-OTL-L) and secured a spot in the tournament's qualification round regardless of the outcome in its final preliminary-round game on Wednesday (May 4) against Sweden.

"We got off to a slow start, but gained momentum throughout the game," said Scott Gordon, head coach of Team USA. "I thought over the course of the game we wore them down some and fortunately we were able to get some pucks behind their goaltender in the third period."

Just over eight minutes into the opening period, Ken Andre Olimb jammed the puck past U.S. goaltender Al Montoya (Glenview, Ill./New York Islanders/University of Michigan) to stake Norway to a 1-0 lead. The goal was not originally called on the ice, but replays determined the puck crossed the goal line. Then, just 1:13 later and with Team USA on the power play, Anders Bastiansen scored on a breakaway for what proved to be Norway's last goal of the game.

The U.S. outshot Norway by a 20-5 count in the middle frame, however, could not solve Norwegian netminder Lars Haugen.

Just 1:12 into the final period, Palmieri started the U.S. comeback when he cashed in on a cross-ice feed from Chris Kreider (Boxford, Mass./Boston College) at the right side of the net. Ryan Shannon (Darien, Conn./Ottawa Senators/Boston College) also drew an assist on the play.

Less than four minutes later, Jack Skille (Madison, Wis./Florida Panthers/University of Wisconsin) evened the score for Team USA. Following an icing call on Norway and a faceoff win by the U.S., Ryan McDonagh (Arden Hills, Minn./New York Rangers/University of Wisconsin) found Tim Stapleton (Forest Park, Ill./Atlanta Thrashers/University of Minnesota Duluth) near the halfwall. Stapleton then saucered a cross-ice pass to Skille, who backhanded a shot in behind Haugen.

Just over a minute after killing off a penalty to Kreider midway through the frame, Team USA scored on a power play of its own when Palmieri fired a shot from just above the goal line that sailed through the legs of Haugen. Kevin Shattenkirk (New Rochelle, N.Y./St. Louis Blues/Boston University) started the play from the blue line with a pass to Shannon at the left faceoff circle, who then found Palmieri open to the right of Haugen.

The U.S. scored an insurance marker with 1:26 remaining in regulation. While on the power play, Craig Smith (Madison, Wis./University of Wisconsin) skated through the middle and redirected a pass from Derek Stepan (Hastings, Minn./New York Rangers/University of Wisconsin) into the back of the net. Jack Johnson (Ann Arbor, Mich./Los Angeles Kings/University of Michigan) set up Stepan at the left faceoff dot.

Montoya made 13 saves for Team USA to pick up the win, while Haugen stopped 45 shots in the loss for Norway.

The U.S. Men's National Team will next face Sweden on Wednesday (May 4), at 2:15 p.m. EDT. The game will be broadcast live on Versus and scoring updates will be available on Twitter by following #2011WMC. For Team USA coverage from Slovakia throughout the IIHF World Men's Championship, including postgame video, visit the U.S. Men's National Team blog.

NOTES: The U.S. outshot Norway, 49-15 ... Team USA went 2-for-7 on the power play, while Norway was 0-for-5 with the man advantage ... Nick Palmieri was named the U.S. Player of the Game ... Team USA has won its first two games of the IIHF World Men's Championship in six of the last seven years ... The U.S. leads the all-time series against Norway with a 16-0-0-1 (W-OTW-OTL-L) record ... Team USA has not lost to Norway since March 9, 1951 (3-0) ... The 2011 U.S. Men's National Team roster can be found here and the media guide can be downloaded here ... The U.S. Men's National Team's fourth-place finish at the 2009 IIHF World Men's Championship was Team USA's best finish at the tournament since capturing the bronze medal in 2004 ... The 2011 U.S. Men’s National Team is under the direction of the U.S. Men’s National Team Advisory Group, including NHL general managers Brian Burke (Toronto), Paul Holmgren (Philadelphia), Dean Lombardi (Los Angeles), David Poile (Nashville), Ray Shero (Pittsburgh) and Dale Tallon (Florida); Atlanta Thrashers president Don Waddell; and Jim Johannson, USA Hockey's assistant executive director for hockey operations. Paul Fenton, assistant general manager of the Nashville Predators and general manager of the American Hockey League's Milwaukee Admirals, is serving as associate general manager of the 2011 U.S. Men's National Team ... Scott Gordon is head coach for the second consecutive year after leading the 2010 U.S. Men's National Team, while Greg Cronin, Phil Housley and Barry Smith are serving as assistants ... USA Hockey's international council, chaired by Tony Rossi, vice president of USA Hockey, has oversight responsibilities for all U.S. national teams ... Versus will provide live television coverage of all Team USA games at the 2011 IIHF World Men's Championship. For more information, visit USAHockey.com.

GAME SUMMARY
Scoring By Period
USA 0 - 0 - 4 - 4
NOR 2 - 0 - 0 - 2

First Period - Scoring: 1, NOR, Olimb (Holtet), 8:09; 2, NOR, Bastiansen (unassisted), 9:22 (sh). Penalties: USA, Gaustad (roughing), 2:38; NOR, Forsberg (tripping), 8:24; USA, McDonagh (hooking), 15:44; NOR, Holos (interference), 19:57.

Second Period - Scoring: None. Penalties: USA, team (too many players on the ice), 2:03; USA, Stepan (hooking), 6:18; NOR, Hansen (hooking), 12:33; NOR, Morten (interference), 18:39.

Third Period - Scoring: 3, USA, Palmieri (Kreider, Shannon), 1:16; 4, USA, Skille (Stapleton, McDonagh), 4:59; 5, USA, Palmieri (Shannon, Shattenkirk), 13:44 (pp); 6, USA, Smith (Stepan, Johnson), 18:34 (pp). Penalties: USA, Kreider (slashing), 8:51; NOR, Tollefsen (charging), 12:03; NOR, Lorentzen (tripping), 17:09; NOR, Roymark (boarding), 19:07.

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