|Ryan Shannon (photo: Getty)|
KOSICE, Slovakia – The U.S. Men's National Team scored the only four goals of the third period, including two by Nick Palmieri, to rally from a 2-0 deficit and defeat Norway, 4-2, in its second game of the IIHF World Men's Championship on Monday.
With the victory, Team USA improved to 2-0-0-0 and secured a spot in the tournament's qualification round regardless of the outcome in its final preliminary-round game on Wednesday against Sweden.
"We got off to a slow start, but gained momentum throughout the game," said Scott Gordon (Easton Mass.), head coach of Team USA. "I thought over the course of the game we wore them down some and fortunately we were able to get some pucks behind their goaltender in the third period."
The U.S. outshot Norway by a 20-5 count in the middle frame, however, could not solve Norwegian netminder Lars Haugen and went into the third period trailing 2-0.
Just 1:12 into the final period, Palmieri started the U.S. comeback when he cashed in on a cross-ice feed from Chris Kreider (Boxford, Mass./Boston College) at the right side of the net. Ryan Shannon (Darien, Conn./ Boston College) also drew an assist on the play.
Less than four minutes later, Jack Skille evened the score for Team USA. Following an icing call on Norway and a face-off win by the U.S., Tim Stapleton saucered a cross-ice pass to Skille, who backhanded a shot in.
Just over a minute after killing off a penalty to Kreider midway through the frame, Team USA scored on a power play of its own when Palmieri fired a shot from just above the goal line that sailed through the legs of goalie Lars Haugen. Kevin Shattenkirk (Boston University) started the play from the blue line with a pass to Shannon at the left face-off circle, who then found Palmieri open to the right of Haugen.
The U.S. scored an insurance marker with 1:26 remaining in regulation by Craig Smith.
Al Montoya made 13 saves for Team USA to pick up the win, while Haugen stopped 45 shots in the loss for Norway.