IIHF World Championships - Day 6
Six Oilers will be representing their country at the annual tournament
We will have daily updates on the games involving Oilers players, highlights, stats and more so be sure to check edmontonoilers.com regularly!
Craig Smith scored his first World Championships hat trick as the US go on to defeat Finland, 4-1. John Gibson made 31 saves in his first international debut as the US are now 3-1-0 in the round-robin tournament.
In the opening minutes of the first, Finland dumped the puck into the US zone with Jeff Petry in front but he was unable to handle the bouncing puck. Jarno Koskiranta rushed in to pick up the loose puck and backhanded it in past John Gibson to opened the scoring for Finland.
Late in the first, Chris Butler made a pass up the middle to David Moss. Moss skated around a Finnish defender before he made a pass to Craig Smith, who redirected the puck past Antti Raanta to even the score at one.
Early in the second, the US went on the breakaway chance as Tim Stapleton received a long stretch pass from Nick Bjustad but his shot went high and wide.
Midway through the second, Juha-Pekka Hytonen was called for interference and the US went on their first powerplay of the game. Their best scoring chance came just as the powerplay was expiring. From the point, Erik Johnson threw puck on net with Stapleton in front, but was unable to put the rebound past Raanta.
A few minutes later in the Finnish zone, Jamie McBain fell and was caught behind the blue line and sent Finland on a three-on-one rush. Gibson made the save to keep the game tied at one.
Shortly after, Sami Lepisto’s shot was on point but Gibson was able to make the save. The rebound bounced in front to Juhamatti Aaltonen and he tried the wraparound but Gibson dived back just in time to make the sprawling glove save.
Early in the third, Hytonen was called for tripping and the US went on their second powerplay of the game.
On the ensuing powerplay, Paul Stastny made the pass to Smith, who was all alone in the slot and one-timed it past Raanta to score his second of the night.
Shortly after, a turnover by the US gave Salminen the breakaway chance but Gibson made the pad save to preserve US’s 2-1 lead.
In the neutral zone, Nathan Thompson picked up the Finnish turnover and fired the puck across to Stephen Gionta, who put it through Raanta’s five hole to extend US’s lead, 3-1.
With less than three minutes left in the period, Finland pulled their goalie for the extra skater but was unable to capitalize, as Smith was able to net the empty netter to complete the hat trick.
Jeff Petry was pointless in the game with zero shots on net and 14:35 of ice time.
USA are back on the ice on Saturday as they take on France. Puck drop is at 3:15 A.M. (MT).
-- Wendy Mach, edmontonoilers.com