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Brady Tkachuk’s 4 points lift U.S. into playoffs at words

Written by on May 18, 2024

PRAGUE — Brady Tkachuk scored a goal and added three assists, Cole Caufield scored twice and the United States clinched a playoff-round berth with a 4-1 win over Poland in preliminary round play at the men’s world hockey championships on Friday.

Michigan State goalie Trey Augustine stopped 20 shots, including all 11 he faced in a scoreless first period. Michael Kesselring also scored for the Americans, who improved to 3-1-1 and moved into second place in the Group B standings.

John Murray, who has Polish roots and is from Lancaster, Pennsylvania, stopped 53 shots, including 34 of the first 36 he faced through two periods to keep the score tight. Grzegorz Pasiut scored Poland’s lone goal, briefly cutting the U.S. lead to 3-1 with 13:38 left in the third period.

Poland dropped to 0-4-1 and is in jeopardy of facing relegation.

Kesselring, a defenseman for NHL Utah, was set up by Tkachuk on a 3-on-1 rush to open the scoring 9:49 into the second period.

Tkachuk, the U.S. and Ottawa Senators captain, then made it 2-0 with 42 seconds left in the frame on a 2-on-1 break. Murray made the initial stop on Shane Pinto, and the puck got caught up in Tkachuk’s skate and went in as the forward was pushed from behind and crashed into the net.

The Americans close preliminary round play facing Kazakhstan on Sunday and Latvia on Tuesday.

In Group A play, Dominik Kubalik and Jakub Flek scored second-period goals 64 seconds apart, and the Czech Republic beat Austria 4-0. Petr Mrazek, who plays goal for the Chicago Blackhawks, picked up the shutout with 21 saves, and the host Czechs improved to 3-1-1 to take over first place in their pool.

Austria dropped to 1-3-1.

Earlier in the day, JJ Peterka had a goal and three assists, Wojciech Stachowiak set up four goals, and Germany clinched a Group B playoff berth with an 8-2 rout of Kazakhstan.

Philipp Grubauer, who plays for the NHL’s Seattle Kraken, stopped 18 shots. Peterka, a member of the Buffalo Sabres, scored the eventual game-winning goal in putting the Germans ahead 3-1 at the 1:11 mark of the second period.

Roman Starchenko and Artyom Korolyov scored for Kazakhstan, which is in jeopardy of facing relegation after dropping to 1-4. Andrey Shutov allowed three goals on 10 shots before being replaced by Nikita Boyarkin, who stopped 20 of 25 shots.

In Group A preliminary round play, Christian Wejse scored the decisive goal with 7:59 left in regulation of Denmark’s 4-3 win over winless Britain.

Mikkel Aagaard scored twice and Phillip Bruggisser had a goal and assist for the Danes, who snapped a three-game skid to improve to 2-3. Frederik Dichow made 28 saves in the victory.

Liam Kirk, Cade Neilson and Nathanael Halbert scored for Britain, which dropped to 0-4. Jackson Whistle finished with 24 saves for a team that’s been competitive despite its record, and opened the worlds with a 4-2 loss to Canada.

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