Hudson Fasching and Jake McCabe both tallied assists for their first points of the tournament as Team USA secured its third victory of the IIHF World Championship with a 5-1 win over Hungary in St. Petersburg, Russia on Friday.
Nick Foligno led the way for the U.S. with three points (2+1), beginning with a power-play goal 4:37 into the second period. Fasching's assist came 18 seconds later on a goal scored by Vince Hinostroza and McCabe notched the primary helper on Dylan Larkin's goal later in the period.
Fasching has seen his ice time rise incrementally in recent games. His 12:24 of ice time on Friday surpassed his previous high mark of 9:43, which he set in a win over France on Thursday.
McCabe, too, saw his ice time rise to 16:52 in his second game back from injury. The Sabres defenseman tallied two shots on goal and a plus-2 rating. He was part of a defensive effort that limited Hungary to eight shots on Friday.
The victory gives the U.S. 12 points in the standings and sole possession of third place in Group B. Slovakia trails by three points with a game in hand but faces undefeated Canada and Finland in its next contests.
DEN 3 – LAT 2 (SO)
Zemgus Girgensons and the Latvian team have gone to overtime three times in five games and have lost each time, including their shootout loss to Denmark on Friday. It marks the fourth one-goal loss for Latvia, now one point ahead of last-place Kazakhstan in Group A with a head-to-head matchup awaiting them on Saturday.
Girgensons was held without a point in 24:26 of ice time. The two teams traded goals in the first and second periods and then forced overtime with a scoreless third. They traded a pair of goals in the shootout, too, before Nicklas Jensen won the game for Denmark on the Danes' third shot.
Latvia will look to avoid potential relegation with two games remaining in the Preliminary Round. The overall bottom two ranked teams following the tournament will be relegated to the tournament's second tier, Division I Group A, in 2017. Hungary, with no points in the Group B standings, is currently the only team that trails Latvia and Kazakhstan.
Ryan O'Reilly, Sam Reinhart and Canada will return to action against Slovakia on Saturday at 1:15 p.m. EST in St. Petersburg. Latvia's showdown with Kazakhstan is scheduled to begin at the same time in Moscow.
The U.S. will continue its tournament against Germany at 9:15 a.m. EST on Sunday. The game can be streamed live on NBCSN Extra and will be televised at 3 p.m. on NBCSN.