In front of an excited crowd, Poland failed to deliver in the match for fifth place against team USA. The favorites didn’t meet up to their standards and were trumped by the aggressive and energetic United States’ players. The score ended 1-4.
In the last couple of days, some criticized the United States lack of trying against the top nations Sweden and Switzerland. Today, however, they started strong and focused. The Polish seemed surprised by this and it looked like they had difficulties setting the game the way they wanted. The first biggest chance came for the United States who received a powerplay situation halfway the first period and they took the chance with both arms. Just seconds before the end, it was Mattias Hansen to find the ball in the slot and he whipped it skillfully in the goal. Before the Polish could recover from the 0-1 the Americans already scored their second goal. Maurin Ruegg found himself with some space in the slot and calmly placed the ball in the net. The Poles did manage to score a goal of their own. It was a messy situation that allowed Jakub Lyskawa to score the 1-2.
In the second period, there were no goals but it wasn’t because of lack of opportunity. Poland received a life-sized chance when Alexander McVey received a 5-minute penalty where not much seemed wrong – it even surprised the commentators. The Polish did not manage to score, however, and failed to turn this opportunity into anything substantial. The game meandered for a little more when Wojciech Malajka received a 2-minute penalty near the end of the period.
The powerplay was taken care of at the start of the third period. The USA players were on fire and scored in a textbook example. The ball went to Mattias Hansen who passed a laser-sharp pass to Alexander McVey who put the 1-3. The Poles, unable to score a goal in the following minutes, were given a big opportunity in powerplay near the end of the match. However, it only led to the 1-4 when an empty net goal was scored by Mikko Vaha-Vahe. Today the USA were simply better than their European opponents.
MVP’s: Michal Sienko (POL), Robin Brown (USA).