US beats Denmark, Czechs blank Austria at ice hockey worlds
PRAGUE (AP) — The United States rebounded from a loss to Belarus with a 1-0 victory over Denmark at the ice hockey world championship on Friday to stay on course for a spot in the quarterfinals.
Also, the Czech Republic blanked Austria 4-0 Friday for the host’s third victory at the ice hockey world championship, Norway earned its second win by beating Slovenia 3-1, and Germany rallied to edge Latvia 2-1 for its second victory.
Brock Nelson skated around the net to break the scoreless deadlock 7:54 into the second period with an unassisted goal, the fourth at the tournament for the New York Islanders forward.
The U.S. outshot Denmark 18-6 in the middle period. U.S. goaltender Connor Hellebuyck stopped 21 shots for the shutout.
“They played hard, came after us and forced us into turnovers,” U.S. coach Todd Richards said. “We didn’t manage the puck the way we need to. We were fortunate to get out with a 1-0 win.”
The Americans took the lead in Group B with 12 points from five games in the eastern city of Ostrava, two points ahead of Belarus and three ahead of Russia and Finland. Slovakia is fifth with seven.
The top four teams in each of the two groups of eight will make the quarterfinals, while the bottom teams will be relegated.
The Czechs wasted a two-man advantage before they struck with middle-period goals from Ondrej Nemec, Martin Zatovic and Vladimir Sobotka, who all scored 7:59 apart. Captain Jakub Voracek added the fourth seven seconds into the final period.
“We try to play nice hockey,” said Voracek, the Philadelphia Flyers forward. “We created chances and skated well. That’s’ how we have to play.”
Winnipeg Jets goalie Ondrej Pavelec made 12 saves for his shutout.
The Czech Republic moved to third place in Group A with 10 points. Canada leads with 12 points followed by Sweden with 11. Germany has six while both, Latvia and Austria have two each.
Germany tied the game on a power-play goal by Michael Wolf 6:46 into the final period and Matthias Plachta scored the winner with 2:25 to go. Plachta’s shot hit the crossbar and a video review confirmed it dropped down behind the line.
Lauris Darzins gave Latvia the lead in the first period.
In Ostrava, Patrick Thoresen, Anders Bastiansen and Jonas Holos each scored a power-play goal and Mathis Olimb had two assists for Norway.
Jan Mursak scored for Slovenia.