Alba di Canazei, Italy - Five different players scored and goaltender Wyatt Waselenchuk (Minot, N.D./Minot State University) turned away all 13 shots he faced to help the U.S. Men's National University Team defeat Italy, 5-0, in the quarterfinal round of the 2013 Winter World University Games today.
The win puts Team USA into the semifinals for the first time in team history. The U.S. will face Kazakhstan Friday (Dec. 20) at 2:30 p.m. ET.
"We were excited about the win today to send us to the semifinals for the first time," said Scott Balboni, head coach of the 2013 U.S. Men's National University Team. "More importantly, we thought it was a great team win. Everyone contributed and we got some goals from key guys to allow us to get a great win."
The Americans jumped out to an early 1-0 lead when Jon Feavel (North Pole, Alaska/Iowa State University) beat Italian goaltender Gianluca Vallini glove-side at 6:42. After receiving a pass from Ryan Cotcamp (Hopewell Junction, N.Y./Stony Brook University), Feavel stormed down the right side of the zone and tucked a shot into the top corner from the bottom of the circle. Then, at 18:22 of the first stanza, Phil Wendecker (Westland, Mich./Davenport University) connected on a power play to boost the U.S. advantage to 2-0. Brian McGinty (Bethel Park, Pa./Arizona State University) dropped the puck to Wendecker at the blue line, where Wendecker walked to the middle and floated a shot through traffic and into the net.
After a scoreless middle frame, the United States put the game away in the third period. Danny McAuliffe (Phoenix, Ariz./Arizona State University) made it 3-0 at 7:43 when he picked up a puck at the bottom of the left circle, moved towards the net and slid a shot five-hole on Vallini. John Olen (Hawthorn Woods, Ill./University of Illinois) picked a corner two minutes later, and Cotcamp finished the scoring when he deked Vallini and snuck a shot between the goaltender's leg and the left post.
Pergine, Italy - Katie Augustine (West Chester, Ohio/Miami University) had a goal and an assist, Amanda Abromson (Braintree, Mass./University of Massachusetts) added a single tally and goaltender Katie Vaughan (Pittsburgh, Pa./Penn State University) made 33 saves, but the U.S. Women's National University Team fell to Russia, 3-2, in a shootout this afternoon in the 2013 Winter World University Games semifinals.
"I thought we played a great hockey game," said Mo Stroemel, head coach of the 2013 U.S. Women's National University Team. "It was a tough game, but we did everything we wanted to do. I'm absolutely proud of the way our girls played, and we're looking forward to the next game."
Augustine opened the scoring at 4:40 of the first period when she found the back of the net for an even-strength, unassisted goal.
Team Russia battled back and converted on a late first-period power play to send the contest to the first intermission knotted at 1-1.
Abromson helped the U.S. regain the lead when she buried a power-play goal of her own at 7:01 of the middle frame. Morgan McGrath (Mayfield Village, Ohio/Miami University) and Augustine had assists on the play.
Russia again drew even with a power-play marker at the 19:46 mark of the second stanza.
Neither team scored in the third period or overtime, and the Russians outscored Team USA, 2-0, in the shootout.
The U.S. Women's National University Team will play Japan in the third-place game of the 2013 Winter World University Games on Friday (Dec. 20). Opening face-off is scheduled for 10 a.m. ET.
For the last 15 years, Ian Walsh has crisscrossed the United States as an NHL official. In this Part 2 of our conversation with Walsh, the 42-year-old Philadelphia native fielded a series of questions discussing life on the road, his conditioning schedule, mentors, on-ice struggles, the evolution of the game and advice for aspiring officials.
USA Hockey: How do you think you've been able to maintain all of the officiating success you've had over the last 15 years?
Ian Walsh: I believe one of my strengths as an official is my work ethic. I come to the rink every night ready to work hard and give 100 percent. I also believe I am very coachable, and when I'm offered a suggestion for improvement, I try very hard to implement that advice into my game.
USAH: What is your conditioning schedule like during the NHL season? How about during the off-season?
Walsh: During the season, conditioning work is more about maintaining what you built up over the summer. The workouts aren't as intense but you must continue to take good care of your body. Game-day workouts usually include a 30-minute bike ride or a couple miles run at the hotel gym. I also like to do some core work and light strength training on top of that.
The weather in Portland is amazing in the summer, and I prefer to be outside and on my road bike. I usually get in about four days a week of riding outdoors to help build my endurance and strength. I try to play hockey a few days a week as well to help work on my skating.
USAH: When did you realize you finally had cemented your career as an official? What was that feeling like?
Walsh: I don't know if you ever get that feeling. Every night is a different challenge in our league. It is a hard, hard league to officiate. The scrutiny of every call, every goal, ever non-call is such a challenge for all of us. The best players and coaches in the world expect us to perform at such a high level every night, and we have to be ready for anything that comes our way. It’s a privilege to be on the ice in the NHL, and I think that is something no official takes for granted.
USAH: What has been your biggest accomplishment to date as an official?
Walsh: Being chosen to participate in four Stanley Cup playoffs is what I'm most proud of. It’s an incredible honor to be selected and that’s the goal for every official each year. Also, being part of the team that was chosen to represent the NHL at the 2014 Sochi Winter Olympics was a phenomenal experience and a great opportunity.
USAH: What has been the biggest hurdle/obstacle you've had to overcome in your officiating career?
Walsh: I’ve been lucky so far, knock on wood, that I haven’t had any serious injuries. Other than some bumps and bruises, I’ve been relatively injury-free in my career. The biggest challenge is to be able to bounce back from calls you made that aren't correct. In this day and age, we usually know within minutes after the game if we made a wrong decision. When you make a call that impacts the game, it’s hard on the mind. Unfortunately, we make mistakes and what most people don't understand is that nobody takes it harder than the official making that mistake. Being able to bounce back from a mistake is something all officials must learn to do.
USAH: Who has had the most impact on your officiating career over the past 15 years? What has that person or those people taught you?
Walsh: Nobody has helped me more over my NHL career than fellow referee Paul Devorski. I've worked a lot of games with Paul and we’ve had the opportunity to travel together on the road. As an elite, veteran referee, he has been able to pass down some of his knowledge to me to help me become a better official. Paul is retiring this year, and our staff will sorely miss him.
USAH: How has the game changed, besides speed, since you started in the early 2000s?
Walsh: I would say the biggest change besides the speed of the game would be the use of technology. It is amazing what you see at rink – teams have iPads on the bench, super slo-motion video replays, hi-def video scoreboards, etc. With all that technology, it makes the officials job appear easy. People forget that the official on the ice sees a play one time, in real time, and must make a split-second decision on that play. It often appears quite different when you see a replay in super slo-mo on hi-def after a game.
USAH: What advice can you give aspiring NHL/professional league officials as they progress in their career?
Walsh: I would say make sure you have a backup plan. Making it to the NHL is everyone’s goal, but there are very few jobs available. There are so many factors that go into hiring an official and a lot of those are out of your control. Go and work the highest level available to you. Don't worry about other officials, if you are good enough, the NHL will find you. Also, control what you can control – always work on your skating, know your rules and come to the rink every night with a strong work ethic and a great attitude.
Tag(s): World University Games