"We played pretty well, managed the puck when we needed to," said American forward Adam Clendening, who opened the scoring. "We moved the puck quickly out of or end, kept things simple and clean. I think we got a little sloppy sometimes, trying to do too much. But all in all, it was a pretty solid game."
Cal Petersen stopped 18 shots for the shutout while at the other end Nikita Boyarkin was fantastic, stopping 49 of 52 shots in a losing cause.
The U.S. remains perfect in World Championship competition against Kazakhstan, with a 4-0-0 record now.
"The start of the tournament has been the first couple of games for some players this year, and for others it's been the first games in a couple of weeks, so we're trying to adapt to new systems, coming from different teams, getting used to each other," Clendening added. "We've gotten better game by game."
"Playing against a team of this quality is a good experience for all of our players," said Kazakh coach Yuri Mikhailis. "Yes, the American team today was stronger than us, but I think we had moments too and deserved at least one goal, and our play in our own zone was pretty good but needs to be even better against teams of this level."
They got the first good chance of the game when Eric Robinson spotted Sasha Chmelevski in front. His pass from behind the net was perfect, but Chmelevski couldn’t get his point-blank shot over the pad of Nikita Boyarkin.
Nevertheless, the U.S. got the opening goal at 6:57 on a nice sequence of plays. Trevor Moore brought the puck into the Kazakhstan end and dished off to Jason Robertson, and he spotted Adam Clendening in front. This time Clendening made no mistake, snapping a shot over Boyarkin’s glove for the 1-0 lead.
"There was a little scrum at the blue line. It popped in, Robertson had it and I was just coming in late, yelled for it, and he made a great play to get it to me," Clendening said of the pretty play.
But the Kazakhs continued to play their game and surprised the U.S. with their quickness on a couple of occasions, only to be foiled by Cal Petersen, back in net after an early exit the previous game with an injury.
Nikita Mikhailis blocked a pass by Clendening and dashed the length of the ice, only to be stoned by Petersen, and soon after captain Roman Starchenko blew by an unsuspecting Zac Jones to go right in on goal, but Petersen held his ground.
Kazakhstan was less of a threat in the second as the U.S. played a more comfortable period, thanks in part to an early goal and a 2-0 lead. Trevor Moore got his third of the tournament at 1:33 during a delayed penalty. A scramble in front saw the puck come right to Moore, who shovelled the puck through a maze of legs and in.
The U.S. scored early again in the third to put the game out of reach. A Ryan Donato point shot was deftly tipped in front by Jack Drury at 1:58 to take it 3-0.
The Kazakhs thought they got one back, but video review denied them a goal. A shot went off the post, and as Yegor Petukhov tried to kick the puck from his skate to his stick, the puck crossed the goal line, which technically meant the puck was kicked in. No goal.
Kazakhstan takes on Germany tomorrow while the U.S. gets a day off before facing Latvia on Thursday.
"First of all," said Valeri Orekhov, "we will work with the coaches on how to prepare for Germany, but I think it’s possible for us to beat any opponent in this tournament and after winning our first two games. We all believe that."