U.S. loses to Finland in WC but advances to quarterfinals
The United States finally lost its first game of the International Ice Hockey Federation World Championships. But it is still headed to the quarterfinals.
Team USA (4-2-0-1) lost to Finland (5-0-1-1) 6-2 on May 15 in Herning, Denmark, and falls to second place In the final Group B standings, behind Finland. Both teams have 16 points, but Finland gets the nod on the strength of more regulation wins.
“It’s not a good feeling losing,” U.S. captain Patrick Kane (Chicago Blackhawks) told the Associated Press. “It could be good for us to make sure we won’t deal with this again and stay positive. We’re a good team. We’ve had a good tournament to this point.”
The U.S., coached by Red Wings coach Jeff Blashill, will face the Czech Republic in a quarterfinal game May 17. The Czech team (3-3-0-1) finished third in Group A
The Czechs “have some talents,” said Kane, who had a goal and an assist on Tuesday. “It will be a tough game against them.”
Derek Ryan (Carolina Hurricanes) also scored, and goalie Keith Kincaid made 30 saves against Finland.
“We were just getting frustrated,” defenseman Will Butcher (New Jersey Devils) said on the IIHF website. “We haven’t been beaten like that in the tournament, but it’s better to lose now than later.
“I don’t think we were ready tonight. They played a good game and got some bounces, and that’s how hockey goes sometimes. It sucks right now, but we’ll learn from it and keep going. Overall, we need to be better, and we will.”
Sebastian Aho (Carolina Hurricanes) had a hat trick for Finland on Tuesday and is the tournament’s leading scorer with nine goals and eight assists for 17 points. Kane is second with six goals and 11 assists for 17 points. The 11 assists and 17 points are World Championship single tournament records for the United States.
Detroit’s Dylan Larkin (Waterford) has three goals and five assists for eight points and is plus-4 and Chicago’s Alex DeBrincat (Farmington Hills) has a goal and seven assists and is plus-6.