There wasn’t much drama early Monday morning.
The U.S. jumped out to a 5-1 lead in the game’s opening 14 minutes and went on to beat Slovakia 9-3 in a must-win game.
The victory earned Team USA a spot in the quarterfinals on Wednesday morning. The opponent will be determined after today’s Sweden-Finland game (Sweden was leading 3-0 when I went to bed, and if they hold on, the Americans will play the Czech Republic).
Johnny Gaudreau and Vince Trocheck each had two goals to lead the Americans, while UND freshman forward Rocco Grimaldi was dressed as the 13th forward but did not play a single shift.
Those in Ufa are reporting that the coaching staff has not been happy with Grimaldi’s play. Coach Phil Housley told NHL Network: “We’re just trying to look for the right chemistry, I’m sure we’ll see him in some action in the future, but we just wanted to keep our four lines rolling.”