It was the first game of the tournament for the USA hockey men’s team. For their first game they would have to play China. USA comes into this tournament without any NHLers. The team does have some NHL experience. Every player on the team is an NCAA alumni. The team is mostly made up of American Hockey League and KHL (Russia) players. China comes into this tournament with their own KHL team. China is HC Kunlun Red Star. Majority of the players on China are not Chinese. Due to IIHF residency rules players are allowed to play for China without having to defect to China. HC Kunlun Red Star have the worst record in the KHL. They are 9-39 in 48 games this season in the KHL.
China took a delay of game penalty 1 minute into the game. China took an interference penalty 9 minutes into the game. The United States would score on the powerplay. Brendan Brisson would get the goal. Matt Knies wuld get the assist. They made it 1-0 USA. The United States took a penalty a few minutes later for tripping. The United States would take a 1-0 lead into the second period.
The United states would expand their lead 5 minutes into the second period. Noah Cates would score the goal. Aean Farrell and Ben Meyers would get the assists. The United States would take a slashing penalty. China would take a high sticking penalty 4 seconds later. USA would make it 3-0 3 minutes after that. Brian O’Neill would score the goal. Andy Miele and Brock Faber would get the assists. 10 seconds later Chinas goalie took a penalty for interference. Just after the powerplay the United States would take a penalty for too many men. The USA would score with under 2 minutes to go in the second period. The goal was scored by Sean Farrell. Nick Abruzzese would get the only assist. The United States took a 4-0 lead into the third period.
Sean Farrell would score again 1 minute into the third period. Steven Kampfer and Ben Meyers got the assists. Ben Meyers would then make it 6-0 USA. Sean Farrell got the assist on that one. Two minutes later the USA would make it 7-0. Matt Beniers got the goal. Nick Abruzzese and Brian Cooper got the assists. The USA then took a penalty for slashing. After that they took a penalty for delay of game. China then took a penalty for tripping. The USA made it 8-0 with under 2 minutes to go. That would be the hat trick goal for Sean Farrell. It was assisted by Justin Abdelkader and Drew Helleson. The final score was 8-0 USA.
The USA blew out China. Theres really no surprises there. We will have to wait to see how good the USA really is after they are tested against stronger teams. The real surprise was the shutout. The hat track was a bonus. I honestly didn’t know what to expect. I didn’t think the USA would play this well. especially this early on. I happy about this. I hope this success continues.
The United States will face Canada tonight. The game is at 8pm PST. This will be the first real challenge for either team.