HELSINKI, Finland - Paul Stastny (St. Louis, Mo./Colorado Avalanche/University of Denver) had a goal and two assists to help the U.S. Men's National Team defeat Switzerland, 5-2, here tonight in its final preliminary-round game at the 2012 International Ice Hockey Federation Men's World Championship at Hartwall Arena. Team USA, which finished second in Group H, has won six of its first seven games in the world championship for only the second time in history (1939).
The win sets up a rematch in the quarterfinals with defending champion and tournament co-host Finland on Thursday (May 17) at 6:30 p.m. local time in Helsinki (11:30 a.m. ET/live on NBC Sports Network). Team USA defeated Finland, 5-0, in preliminary-round play on Sunday (May 13).
"It's great to finish the preliminary round with a win," said Scott Gordon, head coach of Team USA. "The game was closer than the final score. We've gotten contributions from everyone on this team and that's been a key to our success."
After a scoreless first period, Switzerland opened the scoring 21 seconds into the second stanza. The lead was short lived, however, as just 2:18 later Bobby Ryan (Cherry Hill, N.J./Anaheim Ducks) recorded his fourth goal of the tournament when he batted the puck out of midair into the net. Cam Fowler (Farmington Hills, Mich./Anaheim Ducks) teamed up with Stastny for a give-and-go goal at 16:52 to send the U.S. into the second intermission leading, 2-1.
Stastny opened a two-goal lead for the U.S. at 5:22 of the third period on the power play and defenseman Alex Goligoski (Grand Rapids, Minn./Dallas Stars/University of Minnesota) blasted home a shot from the top of the left circle 42 seconds later to give the U.S. a 4-1 lead. Switzerland closed to within 4-2 at 14:43, but defenseman Jeff Petry (Ann Arbor, Mich./Edmonton Oilers/Michigan State University) responded 16 seconds later off another great give-and-go sequence with Stastny to round out the scoring.
Jimmy Howard (Syracuse, N.Y./Detroit Red Wings/University of Maine) made 25 saves in the victory for Team USA, while Reto Berra had 19 saves for Switzerland.
NOTES: Bobby Ryan, who had a goal and an assist, was named Team USA's Player of the Game ... Max Pacioretty has the most points of any U.S. player in the IIHF Men's World Championship since at least 1975. With his two assists in tonight's game, he now has 2-10--12 to his credit through seven contests ... A total of 17 U.S. players have scored at least one goal in the tournament (including six of the team's seven defensemen), the most of any team in the tournament ... Defensemen Cam Fowler and Alex Goligoski tallied their first goals of the tournament in tonight's victory ... Team USA went 1-for-4 on the power play, while Switzerland was 0-for-5 ... 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 ... 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- 2- 3- 5
SUI 0- 1- 1- 2
First Period - Scoring: None. Penalties: SUI, Hollenstein (holding), 6:05; USA, Abdelkader (high-sticking), 8:51; USA, Petry (tripping), 15:11.
Second Period - Scoring: 1, SUI, Ruthemann (Brunner, Romy), 0:21; 2, USA, Ryan (Pacioretty, Fowler), 2:39; 3, USA, Fowler (Stastny), 16:52. Penalties: SUI, Sbisa (hooking), 0:32; USA, Abdelkader (equipment infraction), 3:17.
Third Period - Scoring: 4, USA, Stastny (Ryan, Pacioretty), 5:22, (pp); 5, USA, Goligoski (Abdelkader, Palmieri), 6:04; 6, SUI, Trachsler (Pluss, Josi), 14:43; 7, USA, Petry (Stastny), 14:59. Penalties: USA, Smith (cross-checking), 2:24; SUI, Blindenbacher (holding), 4:07; SUI, Ambuhl (hooking), 7:02; USA, Pacioretty (interference), 18:50.
Shots by Period 1 2 3 Total
USA 8 10 6 24
SUI 6 7 14 27
Goaltenders (SH/SV) 1 2 3 Total
USA, Howard, 60:00 6/6 7/6 14/13 27/25
SUI, Berra, 60:00 8/8 10/8 6/3 24/19
Power Play: USA 1-4; SUI 0-5
Penalties: USA 5-10; SUI 4-8