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U.S. blanks Slovakia for Deutschland Cup title

11/14/2004, 9:45am MST
By USA Hockey

HANNOVER, Germany -- Rick DiPietro (Winthrop, Mass./New York Islanders) made 31 saves in net as the U.S. Men's National Select Team scored four times on the power play to shutout Slovakia, 4-0, and secure a second consecutive Deutschland Cup title here today at the TUI-Arena.

Although the U.S. and Canada both ended the round-robin tournament with 3-1-0 overall records, Team USA won the tie-breaker with a goal differential (goals-for minus goals-against) of eight compared to Canada's differential of four.

The 2004 Deutschland Cup marked the third time Team USA has participated in the international event. In 2002, the U.S. finished second, followed by a 4-0-0 record in 2003 to win the championship.

Ryan Malone (Pittsburgh, Pa./Espoo Blues) opened scoring for the U.S. at 11:33 of the first frame. His eventual game-winner came on the power play as David Tanabe (White Bear Lake, Minn./Rapperswil-Jona) and Tim Connolly (Syracuse, N.Y./Langnau) earned the assists.

The second period saw two more goals while Team USA had the man advantage. Mark Eaton (Wilmington, Del./Nashville Predators) netted one in at 6:59 from Mike York (Waterford, Mich./Iserlohn Roosters) and Jason Blake (Moorhead, Minn./New York Islanders). Shortly after, at 8:36, Tom Preissing (Rosemount, Minn./San Jose Sharks) and Andy Roach (Mattawan, Mich./St. Louis Blues) assisted Richard Park (Seoul, South Korea/Nashville Predators) on another power-play goal to give the U.S.
a 3-0 lead.

York closed out the scoring at 2:57 of the final session to put Team USA up by four goals. Brian Gionta (Rochester, N.Y./New Jersey Devils), who finished third in tournament scoring with four goals and an assist, and Tanabe assisted on the play.

DiPietro's 31-save performance earned him U.S. Player of the Game honors.

USA 1 2 1 -- 4
SVK 0 0 0 -- 0

First Period -- Scoring: 1, USA, Malone (Tanabe, Connolly), 11:33 (pp). Penalties: Zalesak, SVK (hooking), 10:10; Starosta, SVK (cross-checking), 13:10; Eaton, USA (interference), 19:01.
Second Period -- Scoring: 2, USA, Eaton (York, Blake), 6:59 (pp). 3, USA, Park (Preissing, Roach), 8:36 (pp). Penalties: Cibak, SVK (highsticking), 4:49; Healey, USA (hooking), 8:48; Gionta, USA (hooking), 11:38; Hudec, SVK (hooking), 15:43; Bartek, SVK (tripping), 17:57.
Third Period -- Scoring: USA, York (Gionta, Tanabe), 2:57 (pp). Penalties: Team, SVK (bench penalty), 41:08; Hankinson, USA (hooking), 4:09; Ratchuk, USA (highsticking), 8:38.
Shots: USA: 7-11-7 25. SVK: 11-9-11 31.
Goaltenders: USA: DiPietro (31 shots, 31 saves). SVK: Krizan (25 shots, 21 saves).
Referee: Richard Schuetz. Linesmen: Markus Krawinkel, Andreas Kowert

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Tag(s): Deutschland Cup