Top prospect Jack Eichel had a good game for the United States at the World Championships in the Czech Republic on Thursday.
He was one of the few who did.
Team USA was surprised by Belarus, 5-2, in Ostrava. It’s the first time that Belarus has defeated the United States in this competition.
The Americans gave up three goals in the second period, and that proved to be decisive.
“We just let them have too much possession,” said Eichel, who had two assists in his best game of the tournament to date. “We had a couple of mishaps in the offensive zone that led to them getting odd-man breaks and they took advantage of that.”
Brock Nelson and Torey Krug scored for the U.S., who otherwise couldn’t solve goalie Kevin Lalande (28 saves).
In other games, Ondrej Nemec had two goals and an assist as the Czech Republic defeated France, 5-1.
Oscar Mollar had two goals and two assists as Sweden avoided an upset by Germany, 4-3.
Pekka Rinne had the shutout for Finland – his third straight – in a 4-0 win over Slovakia.
Belarus now leads Group B with 10 points, while the United States, Finland and Russia all have nine. The United States plays Denmark on Friday, while Canada returns to action on Saturday to face France.