By Matt Garcia
Team USA dug themselves a deep hole on the opening night of the World Cup of Hockey as they fell to Europe 3-0. With this loss, Team USA will more than likely need to win their next two if they hope to keep their tournament dreams alive and advance to the semi-finals, and it will prove to be a very daunting task as their next opponent is Canada.
Leon Draisaitl scored for Team Europe on a two-on-none break just 4:02 into the second period off a turnover in the offensive zone by forward Patrick Kane. Team USA appeared to get on the board when forward Derek Stepan thought that he had scored a goal as the puck had ended up in the net behind Europe goaltender Jaroslav Halak, but upon video review, it was determined that James van Riemsdyk intentionally hit the puck on net with his glove. The no-goal call was a huge momentum killer for team USA as this would’ve narrowed the deficit to 2-1 at the time of the goal. Link to video of the disallowed goal is below:
Pierre-Edouard Bellemare would extend the lead for Team Europe at the 18:32 mark of the second period off a deflection from teammate Jannik Hansen. Europe scored three goals on just 9 shots at this point in the contest. There was no scoring in the third period and Team Europe went on to win 3-0.
Halak turned away all 35 shots that Team USA put on net while USA goaltender Quick turned away 14 out of 17 shots. Team USA is in action again on Tuesday, September 20th vs Canada at 8PM ET on ESPN.
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