U.S. stays hot, beats loaded Russian team at World Hockey Championship

World Hockey Championship
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A U.S. squad with one Olympian topped a more experienced Russian team 4-2 in group play at the World Hockey Championship in Ostrava, Czech Republic, on Monday.

Trevor LewisTorey KrugMark Arcobello and Brock Nelson scored for the Americans, the first three coming on Russian veteran goalie Sergey Bobrovsky. Lewis, Krug and Arcobello are playing at a senior World Championship for the first time.

Anton Belov and Sergey Plotnikov potted Russia’s tallies on AHL goalie Jack Campbell.

The U.S. team in the Czech Republic includes one Olympian, defenseman Justin Faulk. It has now won three straight games to open a Worlds for the first time since 1997.

The U.S. has won three Worlds medals since 1962, all bronze. It now leads its group after three of seven games, having defeated powers Finland and Russia. The group’s top four teams advance to the quarterfinals May 14. The next U.S. game is against Belarus on Thursday at 10 a.m. ET on NBCSN and NBC Sports Live Extra.

Olympic champion Canada, captained by Sidney Crosby, and silver medalist Sweden are in the other group.

The Russian roster is more experienced than the U.S., with four-time Olympian Ilya Kovalchuk, three-time Olympian Evgeni Malkin, St. Louis Blues leading points scorer Vladimir Tarasenko and Bobrovsky, who started in goal against the U.S. at the Sochi Olympics.

The U.S. memorably defeated Russia in a shootout in group play at the Sochi Olympics, thanks to T.J. Oshie‘s heroics in sudden death.

Russia crushed the U.S. 6-1 in preliminary play at the 2014 World Championship after the Olympics, with a more experienced roster like this year in the Czech Republic. Russia went on to win gold, while the U.S. lost in the quarterfinals.

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