Skip to main content
The Official Site of the Buffalo Sabres

WORLD CHAMPIONSHIP UPDATE: MAY 4

by Julie Robenhymer / Buffalo Sabres

OSTRAVA, CZECH REPUBLIC -- Two highly anticipated games were the highlight of Day Four at the 2015 IIHF World Championship in the Czech Republic. Here's what you need to know:

- In front of more than 17,000 fans at O2 Arena in Prague, Tyler Ennis and Canada defeated the Czech Republic, 6-3, with goals by Jordan Eberle, Taylor Hall, Sean Couturier, Tyler Seguin, Sidney Crosby and Tyler Toffoli.

- Canada earned a big three points as they head into a key game against Sweden on Wednesday after a day off tomorrow.

- Hall and Duchene are now tied with Russia's Yevgeni Dadonov for the scoring lead in the tournament with six points.

- With two of their most challenging games in their rearview mirror and only four points after three games, the Czech Republic will now look towards their games against France, Austria, Germany and Switzerland as an opportunity to jockey for position in the middle of the Group A pack. One mis-step and it could determine if they advance to the quarterfinals or not as only the top four teams in each group advance.

- Team USA defeated Russia, the defending champions 4-2 in front of a sell out crowd dominated by Russian fans with goals by Trevor Lewis, Torey Krug, Marc Arcobello and Brock Nelson.

- Jack Campbell got the start in net. While he's got three IIHF gold medals - 2009 & 2010 U18 and 2010 WJC - this was his first game representing Team USA at the men's international level. He only faced 17 shots as the guys in front of him were committed to a solid defensive game - blocking shots, getting sticks in lanes and forcing turnovers - which has been a real strength for Team USA so far in this tournament.

"I am here 100 percent to represent my country. I didn't even think about anything else except how excited I was when they offered me this opportunity," he said. "You just never think you'll get another shot at representing USA and here I am, so it's an honor.

"I was nervous, for sure, but just with my history with USA Hockey, I knew my team would come out strong and that's exactly what they did and made it pretty easy for me. I didn't even feel that sharp out there, to be honest. They just played so well in front of me to get a big win - a lot to build on.

"This is way more fun than I ever thought it could be. I've gotten a game in the NHL and this was even another level, especially hearing the crowd chant 'Russia' the whole time. It makes you want to beat them that much more, but it's a fast game with a lot of great players, so it's just an honor to be out here and get the win with the rest of the guys.

"To beat that team, you have to play together and play a team game for a full 60 minutes, no letting up. they played a really good game and I'm sure they wanted to come out and prove they were better, but we played a great game and stuck to the game plan and ended up getting a big three points."

- Jack Eichel had his best game yet. He was dominating in the face-off circle, including a big defensive zone draw in the final minute of play protecting a one-goal lead. He played 18:47 seems to have found instant chemistry with Brock Nelson, who's fast enough and crafty enough to keep up with him. Together, they had several great offensive opportunities. As Eichel's confidence improves at this level, so does his game.

"Each game, I feel my confidence improving. Coach has put a lot of faith in me, especially putting me out there at the end of the game, taking a faceoff, in some key situations," he said. "It's a big opportunity and when you are able to make the most of them, it definitely builds your confidence.

"The first game, I was just trying to get a feel for things and as the last two games have gone on, I've tried to be more of an impact player rather than just trying to dip my toe in and feel it out. I think I've gotten better each game and I hope to be better in the next game than I was today.

- Defenseman Seth Jones played a whopping 25:57 and made several outstanding defensive plays and really utilized his long reach to force turnovers and deflect passes.

- Russia was the favorite to win this one, but full credit to Team USA, who got over their sluggish starts from the previous two games and came ready to play at opening face-off. They knew they would need their best effort and they gave it.

"We were focused from the start and there was a real commitment to doing the right things," Team USA coach Todd Richards said. "It was actually pretty easy. I think the video was pretty evident of what to expect from these guys tonight. You watch it and you're like, 'Oh my God…. Oh my God….' They play fast. they have lots of skill, score goals.

"So I think there was a little bit of fear in the guys and sometimes fear is a good thing in terms of focus and being ready to play and we had that. We knew we had to be ready from the drop of the puck and we were.

"You could see the desperation, the urgency. I thought we did a good job sometimes limiting them positionally, but there were some scrambles and you could see the desperation. I thought it was great. That's what you want to see in a tournament like this. It's a credit to the players and I think it says a lot about their character and our identity as a team.

- Sweden defeated Latvia 8-1. Loui Eriksson earned a hat trick, including two on the power play. Filip Forsberg scored on a penalty shot and now leads the tournament with four goals.

- Finland defeated Norway, 5-0, with the help of three power play goals.

Tomorrow's games include Switzerland and Germany as well as Austria and France, both at 10:15 a.m. ET. Then, the games between Denmark and Belarus, and Andrej Meszaros and Slovakia against Slovenia, both face off at 2:15 p.m. ET.

View More