American hockey players won the World Championships in Riga over Italy 4: 2 and won the basic group B with 18 points. In the quarter-finals, they will play Slovakia, the fourth team in Group A. The Italians lost all seven matches in Riga and were the weakest team in the tournament with zero counted.
Video: World Hockey Championship: Slovakia closed the group with a loss to the Czech Republic
And the US team’s management announced before the match that Captain Justin Abdel Qader, for whom the tournament ended, would not play due to injury. Brian Boyle came with Captain C.
2021 Ice Hockey World Championships – Group B:
Italy – US 2:4 (0:3, 1:1, 1:0)
Objectives: 42. Refrigerator (digging), 47. Gelati – 7. Labank (chia), 11. Labank (Benners, Clinding), 20. Garland (Robertson, Tennyson), 30. Garland.
Referees: Romasco (Russia), Sidorenko-Goljak (both Bill), Lazarev (Russia), disqualification: 2:3 for two minutes, power-ups: 0:0, weakening: 0:0
Italy: Fadani-Petronero, Trivelato, Glera, Sporenberger, Miglioranzi, Cassetti, Gius, Marchetti-Miselli, Pétain, Frank-Deluca, Andergasin, Gilliati-Galimberti, Pichiler
United States of America: Oettinger – Roy, Wolanin, Tennyson, Jones, Wideman, Mackey, Clendening, Shea – Garland, Moore, Robertson – Thompson, Drury, Donato – Labanc, Blackwell, Beniers-Boyle, Rooney, Robinson
The Americans played to confirm the victory in the group and their talk was clear from the start of the match. In the first period, they had a strong dominance of the game, often grabbed hockey sticks, performed many offensive actions and did not give the Italians a chance to think about success. They supported their ambitions with three goals in the first half. Although Italian goalkeeper Fdani blocked a certain Jones goal in the fifth minute with an effective tackle with a hockey stick, he collected it two minutes later. Labanc delighted the crowd at the 11th minute, when he bypassed the entire opposition’s central defense and scored the 0-2 equalizer. Before the typical goal ‘in the dressing room’, Garland played with the Italian goalkeeper and adjusted it to 0:3.
The offensive efforts of the Americans were less visible in the second part, and the Italians were in the offensive more than in the first third. In the 22nd minute, Frego ran by the mantelpiece and shot Oettinger – 1: 3. However, the Americans did not upset the balance and in the 30th minute Garland increased to 4: 1 when he punished the opponent’s mistake. The match gradually lost its momentum and the interesting events gradually decreased.
The third period is played with a few interruptions. The Americans returned to a more focused performance in it and again used the Italian goalkeeper more often. But they did not score the fifth goal, on the contrary, Gigliatti won a personal duel with the opponent’s defender and also surprised Oettinger. The US players had more of the game until the end of the game, but the score was unchanged.
Voices (Source: IIHF):
Kevin Labank, USA striker, top scorer: “Every time you play for the United States, there are high expectations. When I came to this team, I didn’t know anyone, but now all my teammates are like brothers. It’s fun for us, we enjoy it and we want to succeed. We are proud of the position we have. We achieved it. We want to keep winning.”
Matt Roy, American defender: “We are satisfied, but we must play better in the next match. It will be difficult from now on. We will face a strong team, but now we are happy to have this first partial success behind us.”
Italy striker Luca Frigo: “We were still struggling and I am proud of the team for that. Many players participated in such a tournament for the first time and fought proudly in every match. It was important for our future that we fought against great players.”
The joy of Slovak hockey players after the victory over Russia:
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