U.S. stays unbeaten with 3-2 overtime win over Latvia
The United States remained undefeated in the International Ice Hockey Federation World Championships with a 3-2 overtime win over Latvia on May 10 in Herning, Denmark.
Cam Atkinson’s power-play goal 1:23 into OT was the winner.
The U.S. is 2-2-0-0 (two regulation wins, two overtime or shootout wins and no regulation, OT or shootout losses) for 10 points (three for a regulation win, two for an OT or shootout win and one for a shootout or OT loss).
Canada, which defeated Norway 5-0, on Thursday behind captain Connor McDavid’s hat trick, also has 10 points (3-0-0-1). The two teams are tied in points atop Group B.
Chris Kreider and Colin White also scored for Team USA, and Farmington Hills’ Alex DeBrincat had two assists. The Red Wings’ Dylan Larkin also had an assist, and goalie Keith Kincaid made 17 saves.
“Every game is different,” Kincaid said on the IIHF website. “You can run into a hot team, a hot goalie and get some bounces. Every game is different. We have a great team here and don’t plan on stopping.”
Kincaid recorded shutouts in the two previous games.
Latvia’s Oskars Cibulskis pulled down Larkin and was whistled for holding the stick 38 seconds into overtime. It took Atkinson only 45 seconds to one-time a pass from Johnny Gaudreau into the net for the win.
“It wasn’t the prettiest of goals, but it counts,” said Atkinson, a member of the Columbus Blue Jackets. “Credit to Latvia. They fought the entire game and played well in the transition.”
Kreider’s power-play goal 11:39 into the game gave Team USA a 1-0 lead. But Uvis Balinskis tied it at 1 for Latvia with 2:08 remaining in the first period. Latvia took a 2-1 lead 3:20 into the second on a power-play goal by Andris Dzerins. White tied it 2-2 with 2:22 left in the second.
McAvoy to join team
Boston Bruins defenseman Charlie McAvoy will join the U.S. team. The Bruins were recently eliminated from the second round of the NHL Stanley Cup Playoffs by the Tampa Bay Lightning.
Belarus, Lewis part ways
Former Detroit coach, assistant coach and player Dave Lewis went into the tournament as the head coach of Belarus.
But that changed after three lopsided losses.
Lewis was let go and replaced with one of his assistant coaches, Sergei Pushkov.
“The Belarusian Ice Hockey Association and Dave Lewis made the decision by mutual consent that another specialist must lead the Belarusian national team,” read a press release. “Dave Lewis believes that changes in the coaching staff can give the team the necessary stimulus to improve the game. That’s why he leaves the team.”
Lewis, 64, had been the Belarus national team coach since 2014-15 and an assistant coach with the program from 2008 to 2010.