Team USA picked up its third consecutive win at the 2019 World Hockey Championship with a 6-3 victory over winless Great Britain at Steel Arena in Kosice, Slovakia.
Great Britain hung with the Americans throughout the game and even managed a 1-1 tie through one period, but the talent gap eventually manifested itself in a contest that saw the United States outshoot the Brits 65-26.
Chicago Blackhawks superstar Patrick Kane led the way for Team USA with one goal and two assists, and he made history in the process.
Rob Carlin of NBC Sports Washington noted Kane became the all-time leading scorer for the United States in the World Hockey Championship with a first-period assist:
Rob Carlin @RobCarlinNBCS
Mark Johnson was the leading scorer for 1980 Miracle On Ice team.. Today, he can be replaced as the leading scorer for @usahockey at the Worlds.. Patrick Kane starts today tied with Johnson at 33 pts.. Plus, Dylan Larkin has 32 & Johnny Gaudreau 31.. USA plays Great Britain.. https://t.co/rr5qFRKDZ4
The assist occurred on the game's first goal, which didn't come until 12:17 of the first on a power play. British goalie Ben Bowns struggled to handle a Kane slapper, which allowed Philadelphia Flyers forward James van Riemsdyk to score on the rebound:
Team USA seemed poised to dominate, but Great Britain bounced back with only its second goal of the tournament.
Mike Hammond drove to the net and banked the puck off Vancouver Canucks goalie Thatcher Demko to tie the score at 1-1:
The teams entered the first intermission with the score knotted, which took ESPN's Chris Peters by surprise:
Chris Peters @chrismpeters
USA and Great Britain are tied 1-1 after 1. In hockey. Even if it's a single period, that's a weird thing to write. Excellent effort from Team GB in the first. Had multiple chances, clogging up their own zone pretty well by blocking shots and not allowing much through middle.
After a shaky first period, the Americans started to take over in the second with three unanswered goals scored by Arizona Coyotes forward Clayton Keller, New York Rangers forward Chris Kreider and Blackhawks forward Alex DeBrincat.
Great Britain seized a bit of the momentum back heading into the third, though, when Brett Perlini scored with just six seconds remaining in the frame to shrink the deficit to 4-2.
Perlini, who was born in Canada, is the older brother of Blackhawks forward Brendan Perlini and the son of Fred Perlini, who has a successful playing and coaching career in the U.K.
The Americans bounced back when Kane scored just one minute into the third period, and Derek Ryan made it 6-2 in favor of Team USA with a goal later in the period:
Although the game was essentially over at that point, the Brits still sent their fans home happy with a couple of big plays down the stretch.
First, Ben Davies scored with less than four minutes remaining to pull within three goals of the Americans:
Then, Bowns robbed likely 2019 No. 1 overall draft pick Jack Hughes, who essentially had a wide-open net to shoot on:
Great Britain lost, but it felt like a moral victory in many respects since the Brits lost their first three contests of the tournament by a combined score of 20-1.
It wasn't an ideal performance for the Americans, but they continued to bounce back well from a tournament-opening loss to Slovakia. Team USA has now picked up wins over France, Finland and Great Britain since that defeat.
The United States will look to make it four wins in a row when it faces Denmark on Saturday, while the Brits will next be in action when they take on Finland on Friday.