Cutter Gauthier and Team USA finished Group A play undefeated by beating second-place Sweden, 4-3, in overtime Tuesday.
Team USA made history, becoming the first American team to go undefeated in the preliminary round. Sweden came into the game undefeated and one of the pre-tournament favorites.
The Americans (7-0) will open the single-elimination quarterfinals at 9:20 a.m. Thursday (Philadelphia time) against Czechia on NHL Network.
Gauthier, the Flyers’ top prospect, had the primary assist on first American goal by captain Nick Bonino.
Here is a passage of a story written by Lucas Aykroyd from Tampere, Finland, on the IIHF website …
“Mid-period, the Americans enjoyed a 5-on-3 of their own for 1:47, but goalie Lars Johansson stood his ground as Cutter Gauthier – who leads the Worlds in shots by a mile – unleashed multiple lasers.
“The U.S. finally tied it up at 16:49 on another man advantage. Bonino capitalized on a stealthy back pass from Gauthier on the side boards, beating Johansson on the short side.
“Great play on the wall from Gauthier and I just tried to shoot,” Bonino said. “I might not have been aiming there, but it doesn’t matter. I’m happy that it went in.”
This tournament was Gauthier’s first outside of his age group. The 19-year-old has six goals and two assists in seven games. He is plus-10, and has earned rave reviews.
He is second in goal-scoring to Czechia’s Dominik Kubalik. Flyers defenseman Ronnie Attard and former Flyer Patrick Brown also are on Team USA.
Team USA hasn’t won the gold medal at the worlds since 1933. The team representing the United States was the Boston Olympic hockey club.
Canada finishes second
Scott Laughton had two assists as Canada defeated Czechia, 3-1, to finish in second place in Group B.
Canada will play Finland in Thursday’s quarterfinals at 1:20 p.m. (Philadelphia time) on NHL Network.
Thursday’s other quarterfinals are Switzerland vs. Germany at 9:20 a.m. and Sweden vs. Latvia at 1:20 p.m., both in Riga, Latvia.
Quarterfinal winners are reseeded for the semifinals, which will be held Saturday, with the medal games Sunday.
Flyers, In Case You Missed It:
State of the Flyers: They need stars and defense.
Flyers likely to play Devils in Stadium Series at MetLife Stadium.
Florida’s Sergei Bobrovsky continues amazing playoff run.
Around The National Hockey Network:
Vegas Hockey Now: Former No. 2 overall pick Jack Eichel leads the Golden Knights to the cusp of another Stanley Cup finals appearance. Plus, Dallas fans litter the ice with debris and beer cans during loss to Vegas.
Florida Hockey Now: Injured captain Sasha Barkov could return for Game 4 tonight against the Hurricanes.
Washington Hockey Now: Toronto Maple Leafs assistant coach Spencer Carbery reportedly is a candidate for the Capitals head-coaching job.
Chicago Hockey Now: Could Blackhawks be a factor if Maple Leafs want to trade Auston Matthews?
Detroit Hockey Now: Red Wings deeply involved at World Championships.
Last Night’s Result:
Vegas jumped on Dallas early and often and took a 3-0 series lead with a 4-0 victory.
Tonight’s Playoff Game:
Game 4: Carolina at Florida, 8, TNT. Hurricanes face long odds trying to overcome Florida’s 3-0 series lead.