After starting the tournament with two wins, Team USA recorded its first loss at the 2022 Ice Hockey World Championship. The U.S. lost 4-1 to reigning Olympic gold medalists Finland in a Group B clash between the two sides on Monday. As NBC Sports points out, this was the fifth straight time Team USA failed to beat a nation that previously won the Olympics.
Finland, who hosts this year’s tournament, got the lead late in the first period thanks to Mikael Granlund’s power-play goal. Team USA’s chances of leveling back were then seriously diminished at the start of the second after Austin Watson received a five-minute penalty for a reckless hit. Finland was slow to take advantage, but then Valtteri Filppula and Sakari Manninen each scored in the span of a minute to make the rest of the match much more comfortable for their team.
Mikko Lehtonen would go on to get the lead to four before the end of the second period, with Alex Galchenyuk scoring a consolation goal in the third for Team USA.
Team USA is still in good shape to progress to the next stage, sitting third with five points. This is despite the fact that the team is without much NHL talent.
On the other hand, Finland is 3-of-3 and sits at the top of the group with a maximum of nine points.