Team USA wins bronze at the World Championship

Sabres' O'Reilly blames himself for Canada not getting a medal

Paul Hamilton
May 20, 2018 - 1:27 pm

Photo: Petr David Josek - Associated Press

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(WGR 550) - Team USA beat Canada for the second time at the World Championship and took home a bronze medal. The Americans won 4-1, scoring a power-play goal with 6:39 left in the game to take a 2-1 lead. Sabres forward Ryan O’Reilly was a huge part of killing off five of six penalties, but he was in the box when Nick Bonino (NASH) got the goal on Team USA's seventh opportunity.

The referees had been calling players all tournament for flicking sticks out of players hands. It had happened to Connor Murphy (CHI) earlier in the game, and then O’Reilly did it to Murphy. O’Reilly told TSN that he knew it was a dumb penalty to take, "Awful, bad penalty by me, at the end you can't give them chances like that and it's disappointing."

O’Reilly had four goals and no assists in 10 games for Team Canada. The Canadians leave Denmark without a medal and O'Reilly thought he should’ve been better, "We were so close to moving on and we didn't, and I'm a big part of that and I'm disappointed in myself and there were a lot of things I could've done differently and it's not what we wanted."

Connor McDavid (EDM) was third in tournament scoring with five goals and 12 assists for 17 points. He scored an overtime goal and set up O’Reilly for another, but he seamed very disinterested, especially in this game.

On Team USA’s first goal, Chris Kreider (NYR) blew around him and McDavid showed no effort at all. On the game-winning goal, he just put his stick out there causing the puck to change directions. McDavid told TSN, “We never really peaked, I thought for some reason, we were always just a little bit off.”

Canada’s coach Bill Peters (CALG) has won a gold medal with Team Canada, but he was just brutal coaching this team. The only reason Canada was in this game was because Curtis McElhinney was spectacular in goal. The Leafs' backup netminder made 33 saves and stood on his head throughout. McElhinney had a .936 save percentage and a 1.48 goals against in five games. But Peters pulled him when he had a bad outing vs. Finland and he never got back in net until Sunday.

Peters went with Arizona’s backup Darcy Kuemper, who had a .867 save percentage and a 2.48 goals against in seven games. Kuemper let in numerous goals that he should’ve had and was a huge reason was Canada wasn’t playing for gold.

Down 2-1, Peters pulled his goalie with three minutes left and Anders Lee (NYI) quickly made him pay for that decision.

Peters had a team with Connor McDavid on it and still went home without a medal.

Patrick Kane (CHI) led the tournament in scoring with 20 points in 10 games. He was excited to play for, and be Team USA’s captain. Kane really believed they could win the gold medal, so you could see his disappointment having to settle for bronze. 

Kane was named the tournament's MVP and was also named to the tournament's All-Star Team. Joining Kane were Finnish forward Sebastian Aho (CAR), Swedish forward Rickard Rakell (ANA), Swedish defensemen Adam Larsson (EDM) and Oliver Ekman-Larsson (ARZ), and Swedish goalie Anders Nilsson (VAN). 

Frederik Andersen (TOR) Denmark was named the tournament's best goalie, John Klingberg (DALL) Sweden was named the tournament's best defenseman and Aho was named the tournament's best forward. 

Keith Kinkaid (NJ) played all but one game for Team USA. He had a goals against of 2.29 with a .912 save percentage.

Casey Mittelstadt was supposed to play for Team USA, but he couldn’t because of a groin injury.

Jack Eichel turned down his invitation to rest his ankle.

Sam Reinhart was invited to play for Team Canada, but since he hasn’t signed a new contract, he couldn’t take the chance.

Rasmus Ristolainen said he turned down Team Finland, but didn’t say why. 

Johan Larsson won a gold medal playing for Team Sweden. Larsson had no goals and one assist in 10 games. Larsson played 6:30 in the final game.

Sweden beat Switzerland for the gold, 3-2. Sweden won a game it never led in. It marked the second straight year Sweden won the tournament in a shootout. Oliver Ekman-Larsson and Filip Forsberg (NASH) scored in the five-round shootout. Sven Andrighetto (COL) scored on former Sabre, Anders Nilsson. Nilsson stopped Nino Niederreiter (MINN) to preserve the gold medal. 

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