Team USA upset by Finland; Russia advances

Jack Eichel's World Championship is over while Viktor Antipin will play for a chance to win a medal

Brayton Wilson
May 18, 2017 - 3:55 pm

Photo: Andre Ringuette - HHOF-IIHF Images


Buffalo Sabres forward Jack Eichel and the United States have been knocked out of the 2017 IIHF World Championship.

The top team from Group A was eliminated from the tournament on Thursday after suffering a 2-0 loss to Finland at LANXESS Arena in Cologne, Germany.

The Americans out-shot the Finns 26-20 overall, however the U.S. managed just 14 shots through the first two periods and struggled to find offense until the game was out of hand in the third period. Finland was able to shut down the high-flying American offense, which had entered the game with 31 goals for and 14 goals against.

It took until the 1:01 mark of the second period for Finland to get on the board with a powerplay goal from Colorado Avalanche forward, Mikko Rantanen.

The U.S. got into penalty troubles throughout the game taking six penalties, including three in the third period.

Finland put the game on ice with a goal from former Boston Bruins forward Joonas Kemppainen on a two-on-one with former St. Louis Blues draft pick, Juhamatti Aaltonen. This goal was created when New York Rangers defenseman Brady Skjei fell at center ice and Bruins defenseman Charlie McAvoy committed to the pass early.

Former San Jose Sharks prospect Harri Säteri stopped all 26 shots he faced to record his first shutout of the tournament. Detroit Red Wings goaltender Jimmy Howard made 18 saves in net for the United States in the loss. Both goaltenders were voted as the Best Players of the Game for their team.

Eichel finished the game with four shots on goal, a penalty, a minus-1 rating and went 57.14-percent on his faceoffs in 16:33 of total ice-time. Eichel finished the tournament with no goals and five assists in eight games, and finished sixth on the team in scoring.

Calgary Flames forward Johnny Gaudreau, New York Islanders forward Anders Lee and Red Wings forward Dylan Larkin were voted as the Best Players of Each Team as voted by the coaches.

Finland will await the winner of Sweden and Switzerland in the semifinals on Saturday.

As for Viktor Antipin and Team Russia, they shut out the Czech Republic 3-0 on Thursday to advance to the semifinals on Saturday.

Antipin finished the game with assists on both of Russia's first period goals to go along with a shot on goal and a plus-1 rating in 18:52 of total ice-time. He finished with the most ice-time of any player on the Russian roster.

Antipin's role with the Russians has increased as the tournament has progressed. He started the tournament playing around 15-16 minutes of ice-time and playing some penalty kill minutes. Over the past couple of games, Antipin has played 18-plus minutes and has gotten more minutes on the penalty kill and even the powerplay.

Russia got their first period goals from Washington Capitals defenseman Dmitri Orlov and Tampa Bay Lightning forward Nikita Kucherov, followed by an Artemi Panarin goal in the third period.

Lightning goalie Andrei Vasilevskiy was stellar in net once again for Russia with 27 saves for his third shutout of the tournament. He was named as Russia's Best Player of the Game.

Czech goalie Pavel Francouz made 23 saves on 26 shots faced in the loss.

Russia will await the winner of Canada and Germany in the semifinals on Saturday. The winner will have the chance to play for the gold medal on Sunday.

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