TAMPERE, Finland — Five different players scored and James Mello (Rehoboth, Mass.) made 13 saves to help the U.S. National Inline Team defeat Slovenia, 5-2, here today in a placement game at the 2015 International Ice Hockey Federation Inline Hockey World Championship.
With the win, the U.S. earned a fifth-place finish in the tournament with a 3-0-1-1 record (W-OTW-OTL-L).
“Obviously it’s not the game we wanted to be in, but I’m proud of the way we played today,” said Joe Cook, head coach of the 2015 U.S. National Inline Team. “Slovenia is a tough team so I was pleased with the effort and happy we came through and won the game.”
Team USA opened the scoring at 1:35 when Derrick Burnett (Corona, Calif.) buried a one-timer from the left circle. After Slovenia evened the score midway through the quarter, Cody Kettler (St. Louis, Mo.) regained the lead for the U.S. when he beat Slovenia goaltender Jure Pavlic on the glove side at 9:34.
Travis Noe (Thousand Oaks, Calif.), the leading scorer for the U.S. (5-5—10), converted on a power play in the second quarter to put Team USA up, 3-1, at halftime.
The U.S., who limited Slovenia to one shot on goal in the third quarter, increased its lead to 4-1 when David Makowski (Wildwood, Mo.) scored 3:21 into the stanza.
With 3:59 to play in the game, Tyler Spezia (Clinton Township, Mich.) skated past a Slovenian player and connected on a wrist shot. Slovenia closed out the scoring with a last-minute tally at 11:44.
NOTES: Four players (Noe, Spezia, Burnett, Makowski) had a two-point game for the U.S. … For full game statistics, click here … A game at the IIHF Inline Hockey World Championship includes four, 12-minute quarters ... The U.S. has medaled in all but five of the 19 IIHF Inline World Championships, including six gold medals (1996, 1997, 2004, 2006, 2010, 2013), four silver medals (1998, 2001, 2009, 2011) and four bronze medals (2000, 2003, 2005, 2014). There was no tournament held in 1999.