USA walks over Belarus 8-2
Playing a physical game for 60 minutes, the U.S. easily handled the smaller Belarus team today by an 8-2 score to improve their tournament record to 2-1. Barry Tallackson and Zach Parise each had two goals to lead the U.S. attack. Also scoring for the team were Ryan Whitney, who added two assists to pick up player of the game honours, Ryan Kesler, Brian McConnell, and Gino Guyer. Replying for Belarus were Vasili Harbavy and Kanstantin Zakharau with power-play goals. Zakharau assisted on Harbavy goal for a two point outing and earned his team’s player of the game award. Belarus drops to 0-4 and will now move to Halifax for the relegation round.
The U.S. opened the scoring on a goal by Ryan Kesler at 9:34 just four seconds after a Belarus penalty to Anatol Varyvonchyk had expired. The U.S. had pressure on the Belorussians for the entire power-play, but Kamovich made three point-blank saves before Kesler found a rebound and put it into the open net.
The U.S. increased the lead to 2-0 on a power-play goal at 13:37 by Brian McConnell. The U.S. was moving the puck around smoothly before McConnell was able to find a loose puck off a rebound and slide it past Kamovich.
Just 61 seconds later, the U.S. scored again on a goal by University of North Dakota forward Parise. He took a pass out of the corner from Dustin Brown and one-timed a shot from the low slot to beat Kamovich between the legs.
Before the end of the first, the U.S. scored again while the teams were skating 4-on-4. James Wisniewski took a pass at the point from Gino Guyer and fired a shot that went over the net and off the glass. Defenseman Ryan Whitney, who took advantage of the fact Kamovich was out of position after challenging Wisniewski, blasted a slap shot home after the puck bounced out to him.
Guyer put the U.S. up by five goals at the 7:54 mark of the second when he found the back of the net during a goalmouth scramble.
Barry Tallackson then scored twice in 22 seconds to put the U.S. up 7-0. Tallackson’s first came on the power-play when he picked a pass out of the air from Brett Sterling and moved to his forehand to beat Kamovich high over his glove. His second came at the 10:19 mark when he fired a quick snap shot to the far side.
Belarus finally found the back of the net on a power-play when Dzmitry Yudzin threaded a pass by two U.S. defenders and found Vasili Harbavy all alone at the side of the net. Harbavy then put the puck past James Howard who had replaced Goepfert midway through the second period who had stopped all seven Belarus shots he faced.
Parise notched his second of the game on the power-play early in the third when Patrick O’Sullivan slid the puck out to Parise who beat Kamovich high.
Kamovich remained strong in the Belarus net making some big saves including a huge pad save in the second off a 2-on-1 U.S. break. Kamovich stretched across from one side of the net to the other to rob the U.S. player. He also made a nice glove save on Brett Sterling in the first as Sterling fired a quick snap shot on his off wing to the short side. Kamovich finished with 37 saves on the day and if it were not for his strong goaltending, the score could have been much higher.
Next up for the U.S. is a game against Slovakia tomorrow afternoon. The match should be a tough one for both teams as they are both looking to finish in the top three in Group A.
U.S.A. Look for Second Win
Team USA. will be going for its second win of the tournament today when it takes on Belarus at 2pm AT in Sydney, Nova Scotia. The Americans sit tied for second in Group A with Switzerland and Slovakia, all with. 1-1 records. Belarus is sitting in last place in the group with a 0-3 record after falling 5-1 last night to Russia. The U.S. team also lost to Russia in its opening game of the tournament on Boxing Day.
The Russians used their speed and specialty teams to defeat the U.S. 5-1 in the game with one power-play goal and one short-handed marker. The U.S. then had Friday off to regroup and prepare for Saturday afternoon’s contest with Switzerland. The day off proved to help the coaching staff and players as it was their turn to showcase their special teams’ abilities. They defeated the Swiss 3-1 on the strength of Chris Higgins’ two short-handed goals, his first of the tournament. Higgins was a first-round pick by Montreal, 14th overall, in the 2002 Entry Draft.
Dwight Helminen set both of Higgins’ short-handed markers up. Helminen, who plays at the University of Michigan and is a draft choice of the Edmonton Oilers, also picked up his first two points of the tournament with the assists.
The U.S. team should handle Belarus fairly easily but must be aware of crafty player Andrei Kastsitsyn who has displayed some tremendous individual skills thus far in the tournament. Kastsitsyn picked up player of the game honours in last night’s contest and had the only Belarus goal. When asked about the game against the U.S., Kastsitsyn responded, “We are going to be prepared because we want to get the points and do the best we can for our country.”
Another player the U.S. should be aware of is Vadim Karaga who leads the Belarus team in scoring with a goal and two assists in three games. The diminutive centre stands only 173cm, and weighs only 75kg, but he has not let his small stature be a downfall to his play.
The game will be Belarus’ last of the preliminary round. If the team loses, it will finish in last place in the group and will therefore not make it to the crossover round. If they are to finish in last, they will return to action again on Friday, January 3rd to play the fourth place finisher of Group B. The U.S. will play Slovakia in its final preliminary game on Tuesday afternoon in Sydney.
The United States cruised to a 8-2 victory over Belarus this afternoon in Sydney to improve its record to 2-1 in Group A. The win keeps the team alive in its fight to advance to the playoff round that begins January 2 in Halifax. Leading the way for the Americans were Zach Parise (three goals and an assist), James Wisniewski (four assists), and Patrick O'Sullivan (three assists). Vasili Harbavy and Kanstantsin Zakharau scored for Belarus which remains winless at 0-4 and will play in the relegation round hoping to avoid demotion.
For more information:
André Brin Director, Communications | Directeur, communications