PORT HAWKESBURY, N.S. – Brendan Warren and Michael Floodstrand had a goal and an assist each as the United States opened its Group B schedule at the 2014 World Under-17 Hockey Challenge with a 5-1 win over Russia on Sunday afternoon.
The Russians had beaten the U.S. in their last two high-profile match-ups at the tournament, the 2012 gold medal game and last year’s semifinals, but this one was all about the Americans and their offence.
Noah Hanifin, Auston Matthews and Colin White also scored for the U.S. (1-0), which fired an impressive 60 shots at Russian netminder Ilya Samsonov, including 25 in the third period when it broke open a 2-0 game.
Artur Tyanulin had the lone goal for Russia (0-1), on a third-period power play.
The Americans opened the scoring 13 minutes into the first period, off the stick of Warren, and Hanifin doubled the lead late in the second; those were the only two pucks to beat Samsonov in the first 40 minutes, despite 35 U.S. shots on goal.
The teams traded goals in the early part of the third period; Matthews extended the American lead to 3-0 at 1:45 before Tyanulin ended Michael Lackey’s shutout bid on a Russian man advantage at 4:40.
The U.S. shooting gallery resulted in two more goals in the latter half of the final frame, from White, on the power play, at 11:37 and Floodstrand at 16:26 to provide the final margin of victory.
The Americans are back in action Monday afternoon (2 p.m. AT), when they face Germany in North Sydney, N.S., while the Russians don’t see the ice again until their Tuesday matinee (2 p.m. AT) against the Germans in Port Hawkesbury.
(Nathan can be reached at email@example.com)