Canada Beats USA to Win Group Stage; Advance to Quarterfinals in 2019 IIHF

Joseph Zucker@@JosephZuckerFeatured ColumnistMay 21, 2019

KOSICE, SLOVAKIA - MAY 21: Pierre Luc Dubois #18 of Canada celebrate with his team mates the opening goal during the 2019 IIHF Ice Hockey World Championship Slovakia group A game between Canada and United States at Steel Arena on May 21, 2019 in Kosice, Slovakia. (Photo by Martin Rose/Getty Images)
Martin Rose/Getty Images

Canada wrapped up the group stage of the 2019 IIHF Ice Hockey World Championship with a 3-0 victory over the United States on Tuesday in Kosice, Slovakia.

Pierre-Luc Dubois scored the opening goal for Canada, while Kyle Turris and Jared McCann added to the team's tally.

The three points from the result propel Canada to the top of Group A, whereas the United States remains in fourth.

The United States hardly had time to get settled before it was staring at a one-goal deficit. Schneider was caught watching Mark Stone for too long as the Canadian forward was skating behind the net. Stone dumped the puck off to Dubois, who had an easy finish to put Canada ahead 1:49 into the game.

Anthony Mantha entered Tuesday with a team-high 11 points (seven goals, four assists) through Canada's first six games. He added to his account by assisting on Turris' goal to make it a 2-0 game in the opening period.

Mantha stole the puck from James van Riemsdyk, which allowed Canada to catch the U.S. defense out of position. He passed across to a streaking Turris, who slotted the puck home over a diving Schneider.

Mantha then missed a large chunk of the second period after receiving a two-minute penalty and a 10-minute misconduct for a check to the head of Colin White.

As Mantha was serving his punishment, McCann capped off Canada's scoring. McCann beat Schneider with a wrist shot that flew just under the crossbar.

Entering Tuesday, the United States ranked sixth in goals (27) and shots on goal (245). Canada stifled what had been a strong attacking unit, limiting Team USA to 28 shots. Matt Murray was excellent between the pipes to help the Canadians preserve the shutout, their third of the group stage.

The United States could've moved all the way into first place had it walked away with a win. Instead, it has the tall task of upsetting unbeaten Russia in the quarterfinals.

Not only did the Russians win all seven of their group-stage games, they did so with a plus-29 goal differentia, allowing only seven goals in the process. A repeat of its bronze-medal finish in 2018 will be difficult for the United States in the playoff round.

Canada will take on Switzerland, the fourth-place finisher in Group B. Although the Swiss reeled off four wins in the group, they lost their toughest tests against Russia, Sweden and the Czech Republic. Canada should secure passage to the semifinals.

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