Buffalo Sabres forward Alex Tuch was the big scorer for Team USA in the opening game of the 2023 IIHF World Championships in Tampere, Finland on Friday.
The 26-year-old Syracuse, NY native scored the second of three third-period goals on a feed from Rocco Grimaldi to give the Americans a 3-1 lead. Tuch added an empty-net goal with Finland pulling goalie Emil Larmi for the extra attacker.
— IIHF (@IIHFHockey) May 12, 2023
The US was considered an underdog going into the game against the host Finns, who won the 2022 World Championships last May in Tampere.
Tuch, who had a career-high 79 points (36 goals, 43 assists) in his second season with the Sabres and was named assistant captain of the US squad, led the Americans in ice time with 21:28 and both clubs with eight shots on goal.
Philadelphia Flyers 2022 first-rounder Cutter Gauthier in the second period after Finland took the lead in the first on a goal from Teemu Hartikainen. Pittsburgh Penguins forward Drew O’Connor scored midway through the third to give Americans the lead for good before Tuch’s pair of goals. Penguins goalie Casey DeSmith made 23 saves in the victory.
The Americans take on Hungary on Sunday.
Sabres winger J-J Peterka led Team Germany with 21:38 in a 1-0 loss to Team Sweden.
Lindy’s Devils Done In By Carolina
Former Sabres head coach Lindy Ruff and the New Jersey Devils were eliminated by the Carolina Hurricanes in five games after a 3-2 overtime loss in Raleigh on Thursday.
The Devils did not have the recipe for victory that they discovered after falling behind the New York Rangers 2-0 in the first round and winning four of the last five to advance to the second round for the first time since 2012. Jesper Fast’s overtime power-play goal came courtesy of a puck-over-glass delay-of-game penalty to Devils defenseman Jonas Siegenthaler.
JESPER FAST SERIES WINNER IN OT 🚨 pic.twitter.com/pdi3Mkx1tq
— Carolina Hurricanes (@Canes) May 12, 2023
Ironically, Ruff’s Sabres were eliminated by the Hurricanes in 2006 on a power play goal caused by a puck-over-glass penalty, and that goal was scored by current Carolina head coach Rod Brind’Amour.