The United States men’s Olympic hockey team beat China 8-0 Thursday in the first game of Team USA’s schedule, getting three goals and five points from Harvard forward Sean Farrell, a shutout from goaltender Drew Commesso and a goal from Matty Beniers.
The Americans poured on 55 shots after a tight first period, with the floodgates opening in the second and third. Farrell, a Hopkinton, Mass., native who won a USHL championship last season with the Chicago Steel and is a productive first-year ECAC player with the Crimson, keyed the victory with myriad plays on both sides of the puck. Commesso (Norwell, Mass.) became the youngest American goalie ever to play in the Olympics, securing a win and whitewash in his first start. The Boston University sophomore has been on a tear since returning from the canceled 2022 World Junior Championship tournament after Christmas and is playing the best hockey of his career. Beniers (Hingham, Mass.) tallied a goal and brought his intelligent, two-way game to the mix, as the U.S. collegiate players on USA’s roster shined today as a collective group.
We’ll analyze each Massachusetts native’s impact on the game while projecting what are keys to their sustained success in the Olympics and beyond. The next big test comes late Friday night (11:10 p.m. ET) when Team USA takes on Canada in the next game of the preliminary round.