Team USA Gets Back On Track Against France

The United States got past the French tonight in Ostrava, winning 5-0 and improving their record to 2-2 in the process. The three points move the Americans into a tie with Latvia for third place in Group B, while France, now 1-3, stays in 6th spot with four points.

The victors got all but one of their goals in the first period, after which backup Quentin Papillon entered the game and was sensational for France over the final 40 minutes. Shots favored the victors by a whopping 54-10 margin and were fully indicative of the imbalance in play.

Dolans Wiffleball 2024
Dolans Wiffleball 2024

Matt Boldy had two goals and an assist for the U.S. while Brock Nelson had a goal and two helpers. The U.S. played a penalty-free game, and the French incurred only four minors of the night. Indeed, the U.S. started with four unanswered goals in the opening period and never looked back. They scored 45 seconds after the puck dropped off a Nelson shot from the slot that beat Julian Junca between the pads. 

Less than three minutes later, it was 2-0. Boldy got his first of the night after the French failed to clear the puck out of their zone. Boldy’s shot from point-blank range found the net at 3:24. He made it 3-0 midway through the period off another close-in chance, and then Johnny Gaudreau got his second of the tournament on another chance from the middle of the ice.

Coach Philippe Bozon elected to sit Junca to start the second and give Papillon some playing time, his first minutes of the tournament. Wouldn’t you know, he stole the show in the second. Shots favored the relentless Americans 23-3, but Papillon was perfect, making several excellent saves along the way, especially during the only two power plays of the period, both to the U.S. 

France had its best scoring chance late in the third when Kevin Bozon stripped Jake Sanderson of the puck in front of the U.S. goal, but Alex Nedeljkovic was there to make the save. Moments later, the U.S. scored on a France turnover in its slot, Pinto snapping a shot past a surprised Papillon. The Americans are back at it tomorrow night against Poland while France has a day off before facing Slovakia on Saturday.

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.