USA vs DEN
The third day of competition at the 2017 IIHF Men’s World Championship saw three Arizona Coyotes active as team USA faced off against team Denmark, but it would be a huge game for one Coyote in particular.
Heading into the matchup, Captian Connor Murphy remained on the same top line with defensive partner Danny DeKeyser (Detroit Red Wings) and forwards Jack Eichel (Buffalo Sabres), Johnny Gaudreau (Calgary Flames), and Anders Lee (New York Islanders). However, there was a line change for the other two Coyotes on team USA. Clayton Keller and Christian Dvorak had a new linemate in Nick Bjugstad (Florida Panthers) and were paired with defensemen Daniel Brickley (currently undrafted) and Jordan Greenway (Boston University), as the pair of Coyotes were moved to the bottom line.
The demotion wouldn't hinder the game of Clayton Keller though.
13:06 into the first period, Keller would score his first goal of the tournament and subsequentially notch his first point. The goal was an equal strength goal, assisted by Charlie McAvoy (Boston Bruins) and Nick Schmaltz (Chicago Blackhawks).
(Please ignore the score on that gif, I messed up.)
But the goal scoring wouldn’t stop there, not for team USA and not for Clayton Keller.
Keller would score again in the second period to put team USA up 4-2. This goal was assisted by new linemate, Bjugstad, and was a beauty. It was such a good goal, that we need to look at it from a few different angles.
At this point, you’re probably thinking that 'woah, that Keller kid is good’. Yeah, he is. Believe it or not, Keller, who at the end of the season was the youngest player in the entire NHL, wasn't done showing off just yet.
To top off an already great game for the youngest player on team USA, Keller scored a third goal, unassisted, after the puck went off of Denmark’s Patrick Russell’s skate, for the hat trick.
Clayton Keller is the first player to notch a hat trick for Team USA since Craig Smith did so in 2013.
The game ended with USA on top, 7-2. It was no surprise that Keller was named player of the game for team USA as he helped lead them to their first win and three points of the tournament.
Out of the two games team USA has played so far, a Coyote has been named player of the game both times. After today’s game, four out of the five Coyotes in the tournament have scored a goal. The only one without a goal or a point would be Christian Dvorak, but it only seems like a matter of time.
Murphy finished the game with 1 SOG and a team-high 21:57 TOI. Dvorak finished with 1 SOG and 14:50 TOI. Keller finished with 3 goals, 4 SOG and the second to least TOI as a forward at 12:23.
Point totals so far are as follows:
You can watch the last Coyote vs Coyote game as team Sweden faces off against team USA on Monday at 11:15 AM MST. Lastly, team Germany will take on Russia on Monday at 7:15 AM MST.
Details on the full schedule, times, and how to watch can be found in our IIHF Coyotes Primer here.