A four-goal first period lifted the United States to a relatively comfortable 5-2 win over Slovakia today at the Ivan Hlinka tournament. The win means the United States will finish in first place in their group after pool play and advance to the semifinals of the tournament. After finishing seventh in last year's tournament, and traditionally struggling, being guaranteed at least a fourth-place finish is a great result for the United States.
Jordan Schmaltz(North Dakota recruit), scored twice in the first period, giving him a total of 6 points in three games, making him the tournament's leading scorer after pool play. Portland Winterhawks Paul Bittner and Keegan Iverson also added goals in the first period to give the US a commanding 4-0 lead. Slovakia scored twice in the second period while Kyle Connor(Michigan recruit) added an insurance goal for the United States to give the game it's final score.
The semifinals of the tournament will take place on August 9th.