Maxime Comtois got the Canadians on the scoresheet, but it wasn’t enough in a loss to the Americans
RIGA, Latvia – Maxime Comtois (Longueuil, Que./Anaheim, NHL) scored to end
the tournament-opening scoring drought, but Canada’s National Men’s Team
suffered a 5-1 loss to the United States on Sunday at the 2021 IIHF World
The loss leaves Canada without a win through two games at the worlds for
the first time ever, dating back to 1930.
Comtois provided a bright spot midway through the third period; Nicolas
Beaudin (Châteauguay, Que./Chicago, NHL) pinched in off the blueline and
slung a perfect pass into the slot to Comtois, who went upstairs on U.S.
goaltender Jake Oettinger.
— IIHF (@IIHFHockey) May 23, 2021
“We had been waiting for almost six periods to score our first goal, but that was an unbelievable play by [Beaudin],” Comtois said. “We talked about getting that first goal in the room, and after we scored we were able to play a little more loose. We know we are going to get chances and the goals will come, but it was definitely a relief to get that first one.”
With both teams having a game under their belts and the player familiar
with one another the opening minutes were played at a frenetic pace, with
chances at both ends.
“I really liked our play in the first period, but our second period was pretty tough,” Canadian head coach Gerard Gallant said. “We came out and played the style of hockey we want to play. We had a really strong forecheck and got some good scoring opportunities early on.”
American netminder Anthony Stolarz left the game after just five minutes
after appearing to roll his right ankle; Oettinger stepped in and finished
with 26 saves.
Jason Robertson opened the scoring for the U.S. near the eight-minute mark
of the opening frame, taking advantage of a miscue behind the Canadian net
and tucking in the 1-0 goal.
Adam Clendening doubled the advantage just 79 seconds into the second
period, getting a seeing-eye wrist shot from the point through traffic and
past Canadian goaltender Darcy Kuemper (Saskatoon, Sask./Arizona, NHL), and
Trevor Moore redirected a Robertson pass off his own skate and past Kuemper
only 2:08 after that.
Moore added a second goal before the end of the middle stanza, burying a
set-up from Conor Garland after a turnover deep in the Canadian zone.
Adin Hill (Calgary, Alta./Arizona, NHL) took over from Kuemper to begin the
third period; Kuemper stopped 13 of 17 shots in his 40 minutes of work, and
Hill turned aside five of six the rest of the way.
After Comtois finally got the monkey off the collective Canadian back at
11:35 of the third, Matt Tennyson squeezed a shot through Hill with three
minutes to go to provide the final margin of victory.
“We need to make sure we manage the puck better because they scored two or three goals from the point with screens in front of our net,” Gallant said. “We need to take those shots away by getting in the shooting lanes and trying to block shots, but we also have to do a better job of letting our goalies see the puck.”
It will be a quick turnaround for the Canadians, who get right back to work
against Germany on Monday (1 p.m. ET/10 a.m. PT).