The Americans are guaranteed a second place finish with the victory today and a match against the loser of the Finland vs Czech Republic which is now going on. The Danes will face Russia for the opener of the playoff round.
Now, if you’re like me, you’re hoping for a Czech win and a dream matchup between the Americans and the Finns. Being a draft junkie, that game would feature 4 of the potential top 5 picks in the 2016 NHL Draft. Auston Matthews and Matthew Tkachuk for the USA versus Patrik Lane and Jesse Puljujarvi for the Finns. While it could happen later in the tournament, I don’t want the risk of one being eliminated before then, so bring it on!!
But enough about that…for the next two hours anyway.
At 10:14 of the opening frame, the Danes would get on the board first. American defenceman Louis Belpedio attempted a pass up the middle of the ice from behind his own goal. Denmark’s Mathias Lassen would intercept it at the blue line, take a few strides and fire a wrister past Brandon Halverson on the glove side for the 1-0 lead.
Matthews would even it up at one with 2:56 remaining. Tkachuk would send a pass in front to Matthews who failed on the first attempt. The puck went back to Tkachuk and he sent it back to Matthews who made no mistake the second time.
Sonny Milano would put the Americans up 4:02 into the second period. Milano was serving a bench minor (you guessed it – too many men on the ice) Milano exited the box and headed directly to the Denmark net. Mathias Seldrup would make the initial save on Belpedio, but Milano banged in the rebound standing at the edge of the crease.
With 5:29 gone in the third period, it appeared that the Americans would take a two goal lead. But after video review, it was deemed that Colin White had kicked the puck into the goal.
It took 11 seconds for White to get that back. Matthews fired a high wrister from the right point. White got his stick on it and tipped it in. Once again, it would go to video review and White’s stick was below the crossbar and the goal stood.
Just 2:14 later, Milano sent a pass from the right side in front that was tipped home by Anders Bjork to close out the scoring.
The Americans outshot the Danes 44 – 17. Lasse Knudsen was named player of the game for the Danes while Brandon Carlo received the honors for the Americans.