With a goal and an assist, Patrick Kane set the U.S. record for points (17) and assists (11) in a world championship tournament, but it wasn’t enough as Team USA fell Tuesday to Finland, 6-2, in the last game of the preliminary round.
The loss snapped Team USA’s six-game unbeaten streak to open the tournament, and dropped the Americans to second place in Group B, even on points with Finland but losing the head-to-head tiebreaker. That means the U.S. will draw the third seed from Group A, the Czech Republic, to open quarterfinal play on Thursday.
The U.S. actually outshot Finland in the game 37-36 but failed to get on the board until the third period, when Kane scored a power-play goal to make it a 4-1 game. The teams then traded goals, with Derek Ryan’s goal from Kane and Chris Kreider making it 5-2 before Finland added an empty-netter to close out the scoring. Keith Kinkaid made 30 saves for Team USA.
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Playing in just his second career world championship, Kane has proven to be a valuable asset for Team USA, leading the tournament in points while also wearing the captain’s C for the first time. He has been particularly lethal on the power play, where he has scored all six of his goals.
The U.S. meets the Czech Republic in the quarterfinal round at 4:15 p.m. local time (10:15 a.m. EDT) on Thursday.
Todd Kortemeier is a sportswriter, editor and children’s book author from Minneapolis. He is a contributor to TeamUSA.org on behalf of Red Line Editorial, Inc.