MOSCOW — Auston Matthews (Scottsdale, Ariz.) scored twice, including the shootout winner, and Keith Kinkaid (Farmingville, N.Y.) made 31 saves, including all three Czech Republic shootout attempts, to lead the U.S. to a 2-1 victory here today in the quarterfinals of the 2016 IIHF Men’s World Championship. With the win, Team USA advances to Saturday’s (May 21) semifinals against the winner of tonight’s Canada-Sweden quarterfinal.
“Our guys worked hard and I’m proud of the effort,” said John Hynes, head coach of the U.S. Men’s National Team. “We got better as the game wore on and it’s certainly exciting to be heading to the semifinals of the tournament.”
After killing off a penalty early in the game, the U.S. had its first power play when Tomas Kundratek was whistled for high sticking at 14:27. About midway through the U.S. man-advantage, Tomas Zohorna was pulled down on a shorthanded breakaway attempt and converted on the subsequent penalty shot. The Czechs led 1-0 after 20 minutes.
Just 1:27 into the second period, Team USA evened the game when Matthews drove the net and put the puck between the pads of goaltender Dominik Furch. Frank Vatrano (East Longmeadow, Mass.) and Chris Wideman (St. Louis, Mo.) were credited with assists on the play.
Matthews nearly gave the U.S. the lead about five minutes later when he banged a shot off the crossbar during a U.S. power play opportunity.
In the final two minutes of the period, Kinkaid made a diving poke check on a Czech breakaway and game remained tied at 1-1 headed into the third.
The U.S. began the third period with more than a minute of power play time and had two additional man-advantage opportunities in the stanza, but was unable to solve the Czechs. The U.S. had a 10-8 shot-on-goal advantage in the final frame, but neither team scored and the game went to a 10-minute, four-on-four overtime period.
A minute-and-a-half into the extra session, Jordan Schroeder (Lakeville, Minn.) nearly ended the game with a wrist shot from the slot, but Furch denied him with a glove save. The U.S. had a four-on-three power play after Zohorna was called for charging at 3:07, but couldn’t convert.
In the shootout, Kinkaid denied the Czech Republic on all three attempts and Matthews beat Furch when he slipped a backhanded shot between his legs to account for the 2-1 win.
The U.S. (3-1-1-3, W-OTW-OTL-L) will play the winner of Canada-Sweden quarterfinal in the semifinals on Saturday. The game time is to be determined.
NOTES: Keith Kinkaid was named the U.S. Player of the Game … Team USA blocked 23 shots in the game and won 53% of the faceoffs in the game (36/68) … For complete game statistics, click here … Auston Matthews leads all U.S. players with five goals in eight games … The U.S. Men’s National Team has advanced to the semifinal round of the IIHF Men’s World Championship for the second straight year and third time in four years.