HELSINKI, Finland - Defenseman Justin Faulk (South St. Paul, Minn./Carolina Hurricanes/University of Minnesota Duluth) scored twice, including the game-winner with 28 seconds left in overtime, as the U.S. Men's National Team defeated Kazakhstan, 3-2, in preliminary-round play this afternoon at the 2012 International Ice Hockey Federation Men's World Championship at Hartwell Arena. Team USA has won four of its first five games at the world championship for only the seventh time ever.
"It's great to get the win," said Scott Gordon, head coach of Team USA. "I thought we controlled the hockey game and had plenty of scoring chances. Their goaltender obviously played very well."
Team USA outshot Kazakhstan, 16-6, in the first period but the two teams remained scoreless after 20 mintues of action.
J.T. Brown (Burnsville, Minn./Tampa Bay Lightning/University of Minnesota Duluth) tallied his first goal of the tournament at 14:12 to give the U.S. a 1-0 advantage. Brown carried the puck up the ice on a 3-on-1 rush and took the puck to the net before wristing a shot past the glove of Kazakhstan goaltender Vitali Kolesnik. Kazakhstan recorded a power-play goal at 18:17 of the middle frame and the game was tied after 40 minutes.
At 4:58 of the third period, Faulk made two slick moves to gain entry into the offensive zone and fired a shot glove side from the top of the right circle to give the U.S. a 2-1 lead. But Kazakhstan tied the game with 4:06 remaining in regulation to force overtime.
With 22 seconds remaining in the extra session, Faulk netted the game-winner in the slot off a perfect saucer pass from Max Pacioretty (New Canaan, Conn./Montreal Canadiens/University of Michigan), who has recorded at least one point in all five of Team USA's games to date (1-7).
Richard Bachman (Salt Lake City, Utah/Dallas Stars/Colorado College) picked up the win in the U.S. net with 17 saves, while Vitali Kolesnik recorded 47 stops for Kazakhstan.
The U.S. Men's National Team resumes Group H play on Sunday (May 13) against Finland. Faceoff is 4:15 p.m. local time (9:15 a.m. EDT). The game will be broadcast live in the U.S. on NBC Sports Network and scoring updates will be available on Twitter. Use the hashtag #2012MWC to join the conversation surrounding the tournament.
NOTES: Kyle Okposo (St. Paul, Minn./New York Islanders/University of Minnesota) was named Team USA's Player of the Game ... With his two goals, Justin Faulk leads tournament defensemen with six points (3-3) ... Of Team USA's 22 goals in the tournament, seven have come from defensemen ... Team USA went 0-for-1 on the power play, while Kazakhstan was 1-for-2 ... Defenseman Jack Johnson is the captain of Team USA. The alternate captains are forwards Jim Slater and Nate Thompson ... For Team USA's updated roster, click here ... Scott Gordon is the head coach of the 2012 U.S. Men's National Team. Greg Cronin and David Quinn are serving as assistant coaches ... The 2012 U.S. Men's National Team is under the direction of the U.S. Men's National Team Advisory Group, led by Jim Johannson, assistant executive director of hockey operations for USA Hockey. Other members include NHL general managers Stan Bowman (Chicago), Brian Burke (Toronto), Paul Holmgren (Philadelphia), Dean Lombardi (Los Angeles), David Poile (Nashville), Ray Shero (Pittsburgh) and Dale Tallon (Florida) and Pittsburgh Penguins pro scout Don Waddell ... USA Hockey's international council, chaired by Tony Rossi, vice president of USA Hockey, has oversight responsibilities for all U.S. national teams ... Sixteen teams will compete at 2012 IIHF Men's World Championship. There are two groups of eight with one group playing in Helsinki, Finland, and the other playing in Stockholm, Sweden. The semifinals and medal games will be conducted in Helsinski ... NBC Sports is televising all Team USA games in the 2012 IIHF Men's World Championship. The complete television schedule is available here.
Scoring By Period
USA 0- 1- 1- 1- 3
KAZ 0- 1- 1- 0- 2
First Period - Scoring: None. Penalties: None.
Second Period - Scoring: 1, USA, Brown (Abdelkader), 14:12; 2, KAZ, Pushkaryov (Zhailauov, Upper), 18:17, (pp). Penalties: USA, Slater (high-sticking), 9:30; USA, Johnson (charging), 16:35.
Third Period - Scoring: 3, USA, Faulk (Goligoski), 4:58; 4, KAZ, Zhailauov (Pushkaryov, Novopashin), 15:54. Penalties: KAZ, Kolesnik (tripping), 10:25.
Overtime - Scoring: 5, USA, Faulk (Pacioretty, Stastny), 4:38. Penalties: None.
Shots by Period 1 2 3 OT Total
USA 16 12 14 8 50
KAZ 6 7 6 0 19
Goaltenders (SH/SV) 1 2 3 Total
USA, Bachman, 64:38 6/6 7/6 6/5 0/0 19/17
KAZ, Kolesnik, 64:38 16/16 12/11 14/13 8/7 50/47
Power Play: USA 0-1; KAZ 1-2
Penalties: USA 2-4; KAZ 1-2