The Americans will improve to 2-0-0-0 at the World Championships thanks to a 2-1 victory against Norway, a team that fought until the very end.
Unlike USA’s 5-1 slaughter of Pekka Rinne and the Finns on Friday, Norway proved to be a tough cucumber in a game that could have easily changed direction. It all started fine and dandy for the Norge when defenseman Ole-Kristian Tollefsen came into the zone and fired a powerful slap shot at Connor Hellebuyck, who made the big stop. Unfortunately for the Winnipeg Jets prospect, the puck found its way on to the blade of Morten Ask, who picked up the disk just inches from the crease and fired it home for the 1-0 goal 11:21 in.
A minute later, the Americans decided that they wanted to join in on the fun. Justin Faulk, the most experienced player on the American roster, took a quick slap shot just a few feet away from Norwegian goalie Lars Haugen. Haugen would allow a bit of a rebound, but after Ask failed to clear the puck from the crease, Trevor Lewis was able to pickup a garbage goal to tie the game up at one.
The Americans were the stronger team, but they had trouble trying to find another hole past Haugen. The KHL netminder made a big save with three minutes to go in the opening frame, making a nice sprawling blocker save on a red-hot Steve Moses, keeping the game tied heading into the second.
The middle stanza saw the game winning goal. At 5:58 of the period, Torey Krug’s wrist shot whistled past a few brave souls standing in front of the net, only to have Brock Nelson score his second goal of the tournament after tipping the shot in along the way. The rest of the game featured some strong goaltending by the two underrated neminders, but the stat that mattered stayed pat for the remainder of the spat.
The Americans were able to finish their weekend with an undefeated record, but they wouldn’t leave without just a little bit of worry. During the game, Moses was on the receiving hit of a big Tollefsen headshot, leaving him injured. USA head coach Todd Richards said Moses was getting evaluated, with no information on his status for their game against Russia on Monday. Tollefsen has a history of getting suspensions, having received two alone during the 2013 event. Back in 2010, Tollefsen was suspended for three games after a big hit to the head on Slovakian forward Lubos Bartecko, resulting in some missed time at the World Championships that year.
Follow me on twitter, @StevenEllisNHL.