May 10, 2017 - United States Hockey League (USHL) - U.S. National Team
COLOGNE, Germany - Brock Nelson (Warroad, Minn./NY Islanders/University of North Dakota) netted two goals as the U.S. Men's National Team defeated Italy, 3-0, for its third straight win here at the 2017 International Ice Hockey Federation Men's World Championship at LAXNESS Arena.
"They're (Italy) tough to play against," said Jeff Blashill, head coach of the 2017 U.S. Men's National Team. "Our guys kept with it and made enough plays to win the game and that's the important thing."
Nelson fired one off the right post and into the back of the net from the hash marks to open the scoring 5:17 into the game after he picked off an errant clearing pass. The U.S. held Italy without a shot on goal for the first 15-plus minutes of the contest and finished the first period with a 9-2 shot on goal advantage.
The U.S. doubled its lead on a shorthanded tally by Nelson 5:53 into the middle frame. Dylan Larkin (Waterford, Mich./Detroit Red Wings/University of Michigan) flipped a saucer pass to a streaking Nelson, who tipped the puck past goaltender Andreas Bernard for his second goal of the game.
Just 1:54 later, Anders Lee (Edina, Minn./NY Islanders/University of Notre Dame) made it 3-0 on the power play when he banged one home from the side of the net.
Jimmy Howard (Syracuse, N.Y./Detroit Red Wings/University of Maine) earned a nine-save shutout for his second victory of the tournament.
Team USA (3-0-0-1; W-OTW-OTL-L) has two days off before putting its three-game winning streak on the line against Latvia on Saturday (May 13) at 6:15 a.m. ET (Live on NHL Network; live stream on NBC Sports app and at NBCSports.com).
NOTES: Brock Nelson was named U.S. Player of the Game ... Team USA outshot Italy, 32-9 ... The U.S. was 1-for-2 on the power play, while Italy finished 0-for-2 ... The U.S. will have tomorrow off before returning to practice Friday in preparation for its 12:15 p.m. game on Saturday against Latvia ... Dylan Larkin extended his point streak to four games with his two assists tonight. Larkin is the only U.S. player to have at least one point in each of Team USA's first four games of the world championship ... Nick Schmaltz, who left the ice after a blindside hit from Sweden's Gabriel Landeskog in the first minute of the game on Monday and did not return, did not play today. He is listed as day-to-day ... For complete game stats, click here ... NHL Network's live game schedule for the IIHF Men's World Championship is available here ... The official online home of the 2017 IIHF Men's World Championship is IIHFWorlds2017.com ... Join the conversation using #2017MWC.