Three Sabres players were in action on May 12 as the IIHF World Championships continued in Belarus, with the United States facing Russia and Canada facing the Czech Republic.
CANADA NOTCHES SECOND VICTORY OF WORLD CHAMPIONSHIPS
All it took was 17 seconds to give Team Canada two quick goals en route to an eventual 4-3 victory over the Czech Republic on Monday.
It didn’t start off so well, however.
Canada was down 1-0 less than six minutes in when Czech’s Roman Cervenka scored to make it 1-0, but Canada came back just four minutes later to tie it on a goal by Joel Ward, who would later be named the player of the game.
Kyle Turris then scored 3:22 into the second period to give Canada its first lead of the night, making it 2-1.
Things escalated quickly in the second period, when Czech’s Jan Kovar was served with five-minute slashing penalty and a game misconduct.
This resulted in a goaltending change for the Czechs, who put in Alexander Salak in favor of Jakub Kovar.
Kovar was perfect in the rest of the game, but even a two-goal rally in the third period wasn’t enough of a comeback for the Czechs.
Tyler Myers and Cody Hodgson were both kept off the scoresheet in Monday’s win over the Czech Republic. Myers was a minus-1 in 19:45 ice time, while Hodgson had two shots in 11:18 ice time in the win.
The Canadians play next on Thursday, when they’ll face Denmark in more World Championships round-robin play.
USA SUFFERS FIRST LOSS OF WORLD CHAMPIONSHIPS
After putting together wins against Belarus and Switzerland last week, the United States suffered its first loss of the 2014 IIHF World Championships Monday, falling to Russia, 6-1.
The United States fell to an early 2-0 deficit in the first period, beginning with a goal by Russia’s Nikolai Kulemin. Later in the period, Alexander Ovechkin was served a penalty shot after being hooked by Dan Dekeyser. Ovechkin scored, giving Russia a two-goal lead in the first period.
Just twenty seconds into the middle frame, it was 3-0 on a goal by Viktor Tikhonov. Russia had three goals on 11 shots, putting the United States in a bit of a hole with less than half of the game gone.
The USA’s Justin Abdelkader broke the shutout just 37 seconds after Tikhonov’s goal, making it 3-1 in favor of Russia. His goal would end up being the lone one of the game for the US, who suffered its first loss of the 2014 IIHF World Championships.
Despite the goal from Abdelkader, things didn’t look up much for the United States, who were outworked and outpowered by the Russian team. Evgeni Kuznetsov and Sergei Plotnikov scored exactly two minutes apart later in the second period to make it 5-1.
After Plotnikov’s goal, the United States switched goalies, swapping out Tim Thomas and pulling in former Rochester Americans netminder David Leggio. It marked Leggio’s first appearance in the 2014 IIHF World Championships.
Minutes later, the US had a two-man advantage that they were unable to capitalize on, in part due to the stellar goaltending of Andrei Vasilevski.
Russia would shortly after make it 6-1 on a three-on-none breakaway goal credited to Viktor Tikhonov, and the US entered the third period on a five-goal deficit.
In the end, the United States was unable to rally back and suffered its first loss of the tournament. Thomas had 10 saves, while Leggio had one save in 8:53 of ice time.
Buffalo Sabres defenseman Jake McCabe failed to register a point in the loss. He was a minus-1 and had one shot in 12:39 of ice time.
Next up for McCabe and the United States squad is a game against Latvia on Thursday.
Zemgus Girgensons and Team Latvia were not in action on Monday. They’ll face Kazakhstan on Tuesday before facing the US on Thursday.