USA Hockey’s feel-good story has taken a rough turn at the 2015 World Hockey Championships.
The Americans, who got off to an impressive 3-0-0-0 start in the Czech Republic, dropped a shocking 5-2 decision to minnows Belarus at CEZ Arena on Thursday.
Belarus has never defeated the U.S. and its current squad is devoid of NHLers, though it does feature two former players in brothers Andrei and Sergei Kostitsyn. The pair proved vital in today’s win, combining for four points, while Alexander Kitarov scored what proved to be the eventual game-winner in the second period.
As for the Americans, today’s loss comes after arguably its biggest win at the tourney — a 4-2 win over Russia, in which the club knocked off a powerhouse team featuring the likes of Evgeni Malkin, Vladimir Tarasenko, Sergei Bobrovsky, Dmitry Kulikov, Artem Anisimov and Ilya Kovalchuk.
The U.S. goals versus Belarus were scored by Brock Nelson and Torey Krug, with Boston University product Jack Eichel assisting on both tallies. It was a forgettable game for goalie Jack Campbell, who allowed five goals on 23 shots.
Campbell’s counterpart, Belarus’ Kevin Lalande, stopped 28 of 30 shots for the win and continued his stellar run of play at this tournament. The former Flames draftee now boasts a .938 save percentage and 1.74 GAA.