Johnny Hockey Rewrites USA Hockey Record Books As Team USA Rolls Through Kazakhstan

Johnny Gaudreau rewrote USA hockey history as he moved to 43 points in IIHF World Championship play. He came into Sunday’s game with 38 career points, four behind Patrick Kane’s all-time tally. Four assists put him level, then midway through the third period he scored America’s 10th goal on Kazakhstan to claim the national record.

The big moment came after 50 minutes. Kazakhstan lost possession and the Americans came right back down the ice with a two-on-one rush. Matt Boldy unselfishly set up his team-mate and his finish on Anton Shutov clinched the record. That wasn’t the only milestone in Sunday’s crushing 10-1 win over Kazakhstan. Brock Nelson tied a 75-year-old record, potting his 19th World Championship goal for Team USA. Nelson shares the top spot with Bruce Mather, who scored 19 goals in the 1949 championship. Buzz Johnson also got to 19 goals for his country in the 1950s.

Dolans Wiffleball 2024
Dolans Wiffleball 2024

The Route

Nelson’s goal, tucking away the rebound from a Matt Boldy shot, was one of several highlights in a dominant American performance. Brady Tkachuk claimed a hat-trick and Boldy enjoyed a six-point game. At the other end of the experience scale, World Junior champion Gavin Brindley scored his first goal for the senior national team.

A tough game for the Kazakhs saw Boldy open the scoring in the fifth minute, potting the rebound after Nelson hit the post. The first power play lasted just eight seconds before Tkachuk found the net. Then came Nelson’s record-equaling goal and another superfast PP marker from Tkachuk to make it 4-0 at the first intermission.

Kazakhstan was struggling to cope with the pace and precision of the U.S. offense. Goaltender Nikita Boyarkin faced 20 shots in the first period as the Americans burnished their reputation as the tournament’s shot leaders (230 efforts on goal ahead of today’s action). The Nomad Astana man, who helped his club win the Continental Cup earlier this year, produced a brave effort but was often exposed by his defense.

The middle frame continued in a similar vein. Brindley’s big moment came at 21:39 on a rare misjudgment from Boyarkin. He dropped Matt Kessel’s shot, lost track of the puck, and saw the young winger nip in to score. Then came a third power-play goal, and a third assist for Gaudreau as Boldy got his second goal. Boyarkin did a great job of getting his glove behind the shot, but a video review showed that his hand was behind the line. Midway through the session, Luke Kunin added a seventh as the USA entered cruise control.


Kazakhstan switched goalies at the start of the third period with Boyarkin getting a well-deserved break after facing 45 shots through 40 minutes. But there was no respite from the American attack. Gaudreau’s fourth helper of the game saw Tkachuk complete his hat trick and move clear in the tournament scoring 11 points. Twenty seconds later, Kevin Hayes made it 9-0.

There was little sign of the Kazakh offense, although American goalie Alexander Nedeljkovic made a smart save to deny Nikita Mikhailis early in the third. But the biggest cheer of the afternoon in Ostrava came when Alikhan Omirbekov grabbed a consolation goal in the 47th minute. He applied a neat tip to Artyom Korolyov’s shot to deny Nedeljkovic a shut-out.

Gaudreau’s historic goal followed, putting the seal on a victory that has Team USA close to confirming its quarter-final spot. For Kazakhstan, meanwhile, the tournament will come down to a survival showdown against Poland on Monday.

Matt Bednarczyk
Matt Bednarczyk

Matt Bednarczyk is your host of Talking Philly Sports With Matty B. He is a proud retired US Army Sergeant First Class, he is also a combat veteran with over 80 months served in Afganistan, and Iraq . Huge Hockey Fan. Matt is a lifelong 4 for 4 Philly sports fan. Born and raised on the Mayfair and Tacony neighborhood lines of Northeast Philly. He brings over 40 years of Philadelphia Sports passion and provides a realistic look at our Major Sports Teams and the most passionate sports fans on the planet. Look for his show live on Edge of Philly Sports.