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Stastny Helps USA To 2-0 Start At Worlds

Monday, 04.30.2007 / 12:00 AM / News
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Stastny Helps USA To 2-0 Start At Worlds
Avalanche center Paul Stastny has three assists in two games for Team USA at the 2007 IIHF World Championship, helping the Americans to a 2-0 start in the tournament.

Stastny had two assists in the United States' 6-2 win over Austria on Friday (April 27) and then had one helper in USA's 5-1 win over Belarus on Sunday (April 29).Stastny's three assists lead the team and he is tied for second in scoring behind the St. Louis Blues' Lee Stempniak (4 pts).

Fellow Avalanche center Tyler Arnason has recorded one assist and is +1 in two games for the United States.

Team USA (2-0) has clinched a spot in the Qualification Round, regardless of the outcome of its third and final Preliminary Round game Tuesday (May 1) vs. the Czech Republic.

Below are the game stories from the first two games courtesy of www.USAHockey.com

April 29, 2007

2007 U.S. Men's National Team Downs Belarus, 5-1, at IIHF World Championship; Remains Undefeated, Will Plays Czech Republic Tuesday

MOSCOW, Russia -- Lee Stempniak (West Seneca, N.Y./St. Louis Blues/Dartmouth College) scored twice and captain Chris Clark (South Windsor, Conn./Washington Capitals/Clarkson University) had a goal and an assist to lead the U.S. Men's National Team to a 5-1 victory over Belarus here tonight in the Preliminary Round of the 2007 International Ice Hockey Federation World Championship. Team USA is now 2-0-0-0 in the tournament and has clinched a spot in the Qualification Round, regardless of the outcome of its third and final Preliminary Round game Tuesday (May 1) vs. the Czech Republic.

"I thought we played an outstanding game," said Mike Sullivan, head coach of Team USA. "We had good jump out of the gate and that really put us in a good position."

Team USA opened a 2-0 lead less than five minutes into the game. Defenseman Jack Johnson (Indianapolis, Ind./L.A. Kings/University of Michigan) scored 2:40 into the contest when he beat Belarus netminder Andrei Mezin from the side of the left faceoff circle after a pass from behind the goal line from Brandon Bochenski (Blaine, Minn./Boston Bruins/University of North Dakota). Then Stempniak took a feed from Tyler Arnason (Oklahoma City, Okla./Colorado Avalanche/St. Cloud State University) and beat Mezin on the stick side from the right faceoff circle at 4:47 for a 2-0 advantage. Chad LaRose (Fraser, Mich./Carolina Hurricanes) finished the first-period scoring when he went high to the glove side of Mezin at 17:45. Toby Petersen (Minneapolis, Minn./Edmonton Oilers/Colorado College) started the play when he rushed up the right side of the ice and found LaRose in the slot from below the goal line.

The United States scored the only two goals of the second stanza. Clark put one home from out front at 4:30, off a feed from Paul Stastny (Quebec City, Quebec/Colorado Avalanche/University of Denver) at the half wall. Then Stempniak, with Team USA on a two-man advantage, banged home a rebound at the side of the net at 15: 05.

Belarus scored the game's final goal at 3:31 of the third period when Oleg Antonenko's shot from between the circles eluded netminder John Grahame (Denver, Colo./Carolina Hurricanes/Lake Superior State University).

Grahame stopped 20 of 21 shots to earn the victory for Team USA. The United States finished 1-for-7 on the power play, while Belarus was held scoreless in five opportunities with a man advantage.

The United States will play the Czech Republic for first place in Group B Tuesday in the final Preliminary Round game for both teams. Opening faceoff is set for 8:15 p.m. (local time)/12:15 p.m. (EDT).

NOTES: Team USA has clinched a spot in the Qualification Round as a result of its win vs. Belarus. The top three teams from each of the four Preliminary Round pools advance to the Qualification Round . . . The United States has not allowed a power play goal in 12 opponent attempts through the first two games of the IIHF World Championship ... Team USA had a 37-32 edge on faceoffs vs. Belarus ... Paul Stastny, Lee Stempniak, Chris Clark, Brandon Bochenski and Toby Petersen each have at least one point in both of Team USA's games at the 2007 IIHF World Championship ... Team USA has started 2-0-0-0 at the IIHF World Championship in each of the past three years ... All 56 games of the 2007 IIHF World Championship are available live and on-demand at WCSN.com. In addition, select games, including all Team USA contests, are available on DISH Network Pay-Per-View . . . Barry Smith, head coach and director of hockey operations with SKA St. Petersburg of the Russian Elite League, is serving as associate head coach of Team USA, while David Quinn, associate head coach for the Boston University men's ice hockey team, is serving as assistant coach.

SCORING SUMMARY

First Period - Scoring: 1, USA, J. Johnson (Bochenski), 2:40; 2, USA, Stempniak (Arnason), 4:47; 3, USA, LaRose (Petersen), 17:45. Penalties: USA, Ballard (interference), 11:07; BLR, Makritsky (hooking), 15:31

Second Period - Scoring: 4, USA, Clark (Stastny), 4:30; 5, USA, Stempniak (Clark), 15:05 (5x3 pp). Penalties: BLR, Ryadinsky (delay of game), 1:21; BLR, Volkov (roughing); USA, Backes (roughing), 6:14; USA, Davis (high-sticking), 10:25; BLR, Zhurik (holding), 13:16; BLR, Denisov (high-sticking), 14:48; BLR, Volkov (elbowing), 15:47; USA, Suter (roughing), 15:47; BLR, Mikhalev (delay of game), 16:10.

Third Period - Scoring: 6, BLR, Antonenko (Kukushkin), 3:31. Penalties: USA, Suter (roughing), 5:16; BLR, Kulakov (hooking), 9:53; USA, Bochenski (elbowing), 14:29; BLR, Strakhov (hooking), 17:26; USA, Hutchinson (interference), 17:55.

April 27, 2007
U.S. Men's National Team Beats Austria, 6-2, in 2007 IIHF World Championship Opener; Six Different Players Score for Team USA

MOSCOW, Russia -- The 2007 U.S. Men's National Team received goals from six different players en route to a 6-2 victory over Austria in the opening game of the 2007 International Ice Hockey Federation World Championship today. Erik Cole (Oswego, N.Y./Carolina Hurricanes/Clarkson University) and Lee Stempniak (West Seneca, N.Y./St. Louis Blues/Dartmouth College) each recorded a goal and an assist for Team USA, while Paul Stastny (Quebec City, Quebec/Colorado Avalanche/University of Denver) added two assists.

"It's great to start off the tournament with a victory," said Mike Sullivan, head coach of Team USA. "I was especially pleased with our balanced scoring."

Phil Kessel (Madison, Wis./Boston Bruins/University of Minnesota) opened the scoring at the 1:59 mark of the first period with a shot from the edge of the left faceoff circle that snuck under the crossbar. Toby Petersen (Minneapolis, Minn./Edmonton Oilers/Colorado College) gave Team USA a 2-0 lead at 10:22 during a three-on-one rush off a feed from Ryan Suter (Madison, Wis./Nashville Predators/University of Wisconsin).

Austria answered at 14:51, as Raimund Divis beat netminder John Grahame (Denver, Colo./Carolina Hurricanes/Lake Superior State University) from the low slot.

The United States took a 3-1 lead into the first intermission on a power play tally by Stempniak at 17:19. Cole faked a shot from the point before sending a pass down low to Stempniak, who fired a one-timer past Austrian netminder Reinhard Divis.

The teams traded goals in the second period, as Team USA captain Chris Clark (South Windsor, Conn./Washington Capitals/Clarkson University) notched a tally : 24 into the frame, while Austria's Oliver Setzinger made it a 4-2 contest at 10:51.

The United States struck early again in the third period when Brian Pothier (New Bedford, Mass./Washington Capitals/Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute) found a streaking Cole, who split two Austrian defenders and beat Divis under his right arm :14 into the stanza. Brandon Bochenski (Blaine, Minn./Boston Bruins/University of North Dakota) rounded out the scoring with a power play goal at the 13:02 mark. Andrew Hutchinson (Evanston, Ill./Carolina Hurricanes/Michigan State University) tipped the puck from the right faceoff circle into the low slot to Bochenski, who put a shot into the top right corner of the net.

Grahame stopped 14 of 16 shots to earn the victory for Team USA. The United States finished 2-for-7 on the power play, while Austria was held scoreless in seven opportunities with a man advantage.

The United States will battle Belarus in its second of three Preliminary Round games on Sunday (April 29) at 8:15 p.m. (local time)/12:15 p.m. (EDT).

NOTES: Team USA outshot Austria by a 47-16 margin, including an 18-1 advantage in the second period . . . The United States has won its opening game at the IIHF World Championship in each of the past three years . . . All 56 games of the 2007 IIHF World Championship are available live and on-demand at WCSN.com. In addition, select games, including all Team USA contests, are available on DISH Network Pay-Per-View . . . Barry Smith, head coach and director of hockey operations with SKA St. Petersburg of the Russian Elite League, is serving as associate head coach of Team USA, while David Quinn, associate head coach for the Boston University men's ice hockey team, is serving as assistant coach.

SCORING SUMMARY

First Period - Scoring: 1, USA, Kessel (Hall), 1:59; 2, USA, Petersen (Suter), 10:22; 3, AUT, Divis (Schuller, Baumgartner), 14:51; 4, USA, Stempniak (Cole, Stastny), 17:19 (5x3 pp). Penalties: AUT, Lakos (hooking), 2: 19; USA, Team (too many men), 6:01; USA, Suter (boarding), 6: 22; USA, Ballard (slashing), 11:17; USA, Alberts (cross-checking), 12:34; AUT, Trattnig (tripping), 15:50; AUT, Lukas (holding), 16:25.

Second Period - Scoring: 5, USA, Clark (Stastny, Ballard), :24; 6, AUT, Setzinger (Rebek), 10: 51. Penalties: USA, E. Johnson (holding), 2:34; AUT, Lukas (interference), 6:39; AUT, Trattnig (tripping), 14:25.

Third Period - Scoring: 7, USA, Cole (Pothier), :14; 8, USA, Bochenski (Stempniak, Hutchinson), 13: 02 (pp). Penalties: AUT, Lakos (hooking), 2:17; AUT, Unterluggauer (hooking), 12:39; USA, Greene (cross-checking), 13:51; USA, Alberts (hooking), 19:31.
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