Star forward Matt White had a hat trick as the U.S. National Inline Team defeated Great Britain by a score of 10-3 in its opening preliminary-round game.
Surprisingly enough, it would be the Brits that would get on the score sheet first. Forward Rob Shelton, who somehow recorded a +2 despite his team getting destroyed on the scoreboard, struck at 8:35 of the first period to take the 1-0 lead. Travis Noe brought the game back to a tied standstill at the ten minute mark of the first, only to have Cody Kettler and Junior Cadiz connect on goals just 14 seconds apart to open up the second. Before the second frame was even completed, the Americans had a commanding 6-1 lead thanks to goals from White, Pat Lee and Tyler Spezia.
The Americans would make a goalie switch despite such an impressive lead. Goaltender Jerry Kuhn started in net for Team USA, but was replaced after just one save in 24 minutes of action. Zack Lane took over at the start of the second half and made nine saves on 11 shots on goal.
Goals by Lee, White and Noe in the third frame increased the U.S. goal count to 9, but not before Shelton got his second of the contest midway through the third. He would complete the hat trick in the fourth period with just four minutes remaining in the game, but a power-play tally by White would also mean the hats would litter from the crowd.
Follow me on twitter, @StevenEllisNHL.