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For Second Time In Three Years, U.S. Men’s Hockey Team Wins World Championship Bronze

By Steve Drumwright | June 06, 2021, 12:34 p.m. (ET)

Brian Boyle hands a medal to Colin Blackwell after the IIHF Men's Ice Hockey World Championships bronze medal match at the Arena Riga in Riga, Latvia, on June 6, 2021.

 

A dominant second period and continued defensive excellence carried the U.S. men’s hockey team to a 6-1 victory over Germany in the bronze-medal game of the IIHF Men’s World Championship Sunday in Riga, Latvia.

It marks the second time in the last three events, and fourth in the last eight, that the Americans have brought home the bronze. There was no World Championship in 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

With the tournament taking place during the NHL playoffs, the U.S. team featured players from eliminated teams as well as the American Hockey League, European leagues and U.S. colleges.

Goalie Cal Petersen capped a tournament of outstanding play by stopping 33 shots against Germany. He was tested early as the U.S. had to kill off a 4-minute power play, and the U.S. defense was up to the task.

The double-minor penalty came just 58 seconds into the game when Jason Robertson was called for high-sticking. But just four seconds after the penalty kill did its job, Christian Wolanin put the U.S. on top 1-0.

It remained that way until a decisive four-goal burst by the U.S. in the second period. Conor Garland started it off by scoring at 6:27, then Jack Drury made it 3-0 at 8:05. Robertson added a power-play goal at 11:35, and Trevor Moore put in another power-play goal at 12:15.

Germany got one back early in the third, only for Ryan Donato to answer for Team USA with 10 minutes remaining.

Garland added two assists for a three-point game, and Tage Thompson had three assists to spearhead the U.S. offense.

The U.S. allowed more than two goals only once in 10 games during the tournament.

The Americans had to settle playing for a bronze following a 4-2 loss to rival Canada in the semifinals. Trailing 2-1 entering the third period, the U.S. gave up a quick goal just 46 seconds in to Andrew Mangiapane to make it 3-1. Less than three minutes later, Sasha Chmelevski countered to pull the U.S. within 3-2.

However, that was the extent of the scoring until Canada notched an empty-netter with 23 seconds left, ending the Americans’ seven-game winning streak at the worlds that included a 5-1 win over their northern neighbor in pool play.

The U.S. played its final game of pool play and all three elimination games without captain Justin Abdelkader, who sustained a lower-body injury in Monday’s 2-0 win over Germany.

 

Steve Drumwright

Steve Drumwright is a journalist based in Murrieta, California. He is a freelance contributor to TeamUSA.org on behalf of Red Line Editorial, Inc.