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2018 MWC Gameday: U.S. Meets Latvia In Fourth Prelim Game

By USAHockey.com, 05/10/18, 4:45AM EDT

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Puck drop is set for 10:15 a.m. ET live on NHL Network

The U.S. Men's National Team faces Latvia this afternoon in its fourth preliminary round game of the 2018 IIHF Men's World Championship here in Herning, Denmark. Puck drop is set for 4:15 p.m. local time (10:15 a.m. ET) at the Jyske Bank Boxen and will be televised live in the U.S. exclusively on NHL Network.
    Both teams enter today's game with three games played. The United States sits in second place with eight points, 12 goals for and just four goals allowed, the fewest in Group B. Latvia holds fourth place with five points, nine goals for and 10 goals against.
    The United States enters the 2018 IIHF Men's World Championship seeking its 12th tournament medal and first since 2016, when it claimed a bronze medal. All-time, the U.S. has won gold once (1933), silver four times (1950, 1939, 1934, 1931) and bronze six times (2015, 2013, 2004, 1996, 1952, 1949).    

THINGS WORTH MENTIONING
Team USA is the home team and will be wearing blue ... Yesterday, Team USA had the day off and spent it with a number of outdoor activities, including biking, fishing and golfing  ... Stan Bowman, general manager of the Chicago Blackhawks and member of USA Hockey's Men's National Team Advisory Group, arrived in Herning this morning ... Johnny Gaudreau (1-2--3) and Patrick Kane (1-4--5) have a point in every game ... The U.S. leads the tournament The U.S. returns to action tomorrow (May 11) when it faces Korea at 8:15 p.m. local time (2:15 p.m. ET) ... Tomorrow will also see Team USA's guests begin arriving in Herning ... Forward Sonny Milano turns 22 on Saturday (May 12) ... Team USA's next regulation win will be its 200th in IIHF Men's World Championship play.

THE SERIES VS. LATVIA
This is the 14th world championship meeting between the United States and Latvia. All-time, the U.S. holds a 9-0-0-3-1 record and a 41-27 advantage in goals scored.
    A year ago, the two teams met in the preliminary round where the U.S. claimed a 5-3 victory. Five different U.S. players scored, including Nick Bjugstad (Blaine, Minn.), JT Compher (Northbrook, Ill.), Johnny Gaudreau (Salem, N.J.), Dylan Larkin (Waterford, Mich.) and Andrew Copp (Ann Arbor, Mich.), who tallied the game-winner with 3:22 to play.

NINE IN 11 FOR BLASHILL
Entering today's game, the U.S. is now 8-1-0-2 in 11 games under head coach Jeff Blashill (Sault Ste. Marie, Mich.). With nine wins in its last 11 tournament games, the U.S. is currently in its best tournament stretch since winning 12 of 14 across the 1931, 1933 and 1934 tournaments. From 1920-1968, there was no World Championship in Olympic years as the Olympic champion was also declared world champion.

FIRST BACK-TO-BACK SHUTOUTS SINCE 2011
With wins over Denmark (4-0) and Germany (3-0) both coming by shutouts, the U.S. has now registered back-to-back shutout wins for the first time since the 2010 IIHF Men’s World Championship. There, it blanked Kazakhstan, 10-0, and France, 4-0, in the relegation round to finish 13th overall. 
    Keith Kinkaid (Farmingville, N.Y.), the starter in Team USA's first three games this year, collected both shutouts to push his tournament stats to three wins, a 1.30 goals against average and .955 save percentage while saving 84 of 88 shots.

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Sights & Sounds

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U.S. Schedule

Date Opponent Round Time (Local/ET)/Result Location
Tues., May 1 Denmark Exhibition W, 3-2 KVIK Hockey Arena
Herning, Denmark
Fri., May 4 Canada Preliminary W, 5-4 (SO) Jyske Bank Boxen
Herning, Denmark
Sat., May 5 Denmark Preliminary W, 4-0 Jyske Bank Boxen
Herning, Denmark
Mon., May 7 Germany Preliminary W, 3-0 Jyske Bank Boxen
Herning, Denmark
Thurs., May 10 Latvia Preliminary W, 3-2 (OT) Jyske Bank Boxen
Herning, Denmark
Fri., May 11 Korea Preliminary W, 13-1 Jyske Bank Boxen
Herning, Denmark
Sun., May 13 Norway Preliminary W, 9-3 Jyske Bank Boxen
Herning, Denmark
Tues., May 15 Finland Preliminary L, 2-6 Jyske Bank Boxen
Herning, Denmark
Thurs., May 17 Czech Republic Quarterfinals W, 3-2 Jyske Bank Boxen
Herning, Denmark
Sat., May 19 Sweden Semifinals L, 0-6 Royal Arena
Copenhagen, Denmark
Sun., May 20 Canada Bronze-Medal Game W, 4-1 Royal Arena
Copenhagen, Denmark

2018 Men's Worlds News