Helsinki, Finland (Sports Network) - Craig Smith recorded a hat trick to
support a strong effort between the pipes from John Gibson as the United
States rolled to a 4-1 victory over Finland in Group H action of the 2013
World Hockey Championships.
Gibson stopped 31-of-32 shots to help Team USA rebound from Tuesday's 5-3 loss
to Russia, with Stephen Gionta netting the Americans' other goal.
Smith's second tally of the day, a one-timer off a Paul Stastny feed on the
power play, snapped a 1-1 tie 3:22 into the third period. Gionta scored just
over nine minutes later to give the U.S. a two-goal advantage, with Smith
finishing off the hat trick with an empty-net marker with 42 seconds
Jarno Koskiranta gave Finland a 1-0 lead with just under six minutes elapsed
in the contest, but Team USA drew even when Smith re-directed a shot from
David Moss into the net with 2:24 left in the opening frame.
The win moved the U.S. into a first-place tie with Russia in the Group H
standings with nine points, though the still-unbeaten Russians have played one
fewer game thus far during the preliminary round.
The loss, Finland's first in four games for the tournament, dropped the Fins
one point behind the Americans and Russians in third place.
Elsewhere in the Group H bracket, Germany picked up its first win of the event
with a 2-0 shutout of Austria in Helsinki.
In other Wednesday results, Switzerland remained unbeaten and atop the Group S
bracket with a 7-1 rout of Slovenia in Stockholm, Sweden. The Swiss, who upset
Canada in a shootout on Sunday, have now prevailed three times in regulation
and once in overtime over their first four outings.
The Sports Network