USA – Austria 7 - 2 (4 - 0 , 1 - 1 , 2 - 1) Game Sheet
INNSBRUCK – The United States scored four goals in the first period and took their opening game 7-2 against Austria. Shane Gersich scored a hat trick and captain Marcel Godbout had three points to help lead the U.S. team to the win.
Team USA pounced on the Austrians early, scoring goals at 0:47 and 1:13. Shane Gersich got the puck from Marcel Godbout alone on the side of the net and shot it into a wide open net. Following an Austrian turnover, Joe Wegwerth scored on a two-on-one for the 2-0 lead.
“We started off playing good,” said Godbout. “This is our first time playing together, I think we can be a better but the performance was good overall.”
The Austrians did themselves no favours after falling behind, taking four successive penalties resulting in power-play goals for Gershich and Ryan MacInnis. But the team settled down in the second period, thanks to a goal from forward Mario Huber, who skated down the right side and rifled a shot that beat U.S. goalkeeper Edwin Minney on the blocker side.
Though he allowed a fifth U.S. goal in the second period, goaltender Stefan Muller played well after settling down from the early U.S. onslaught. Muller made a number of key saves in the frame that kept the Americans from pulling away, including two odd-man rushes just prior to the second intermission.
Stefan Gaffal scored 44 seconds into the third period to bring his team within three and get the Austrian fans back in the game, but a pair of short handed goals from MacInnis and Godbout snuffed out any hopes for a comeback.
Following a short rest, Team USA will go up against Team Canada what figures to be a pivotal game as both teams battle for a spot in the semi-finals. Austria will have to take on Russia on Monday, winners of their opening game against the Canadians yesterday.