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, five wins. Led by Patrick Kane, the United States has impressed so far at the ice hockey world championship in Denmark.
The U.S. opened with victory over Canada, the tournament favorite seeking a third title in four years and captained by NHL leading scorer Connor McDavid
Chasing its first medal at the tournament since bronze in 2015, the 5-4 win over Canada in a penalty shootout set the pace for the U.S. in Group B, followed by victories against host Denmark (4-0), Germany (3-0), Latvia (3-2 in OT) and South Korea (13-1).
The decision to make Kane captain after a disappointing season with his Chicago Blackhawks has paid off.
The 29-year-old star forward last played at the world championships in 2008, his first season in the NHL and also the last time the Blackhawks missed the playoffs. In the meantime he won three Stanley Cup titles with the Blackhawks and was in the U.S. team at the 2010 and 2014 Olympics.
”It’s a huge honor to represent the United States of America
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, the greatest country in the world,” Kane said.
He has proved a leader on ice, scoring three goals and adding nine assists in the first five games at the championship.
Kane was also key to other players being keen to join the team.
”His influence was as a magnet to attract players,” U.S. general manager Bill Zito said.
The team includes game-breakers such as forwards Dylan Larkin of the Detroit Red Wings, Anders Lee of the New York Islanders, Chris Kreider of the New York Rangers and Johnny Gaudreau of the Calgary Flames. Cam Atkinson of the Columbus Blue Jackets has been the team’s leading scorer at the championship with five goals.
But there’s also promising young talent, such as defenseman Quinn Hughes, a top 10 prospect in the 2018 NHL draft.
”Lot of good players
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, lot of young guys on this team, so it’s been a fun team to be around,” Kane said.
Kane’s Chicago teammate Alex DeBrincat, who is on the national team after scoring 28 goals in his rookie season with the Blackhawks, praised Kane’s leadership qualities.
”He wants to be the best, he’s always out there to be the best player on the ice,” DeBrincat said. ”For me, it’s taking that mentality and just using it. Everyone wants to be the best but some guys want that so much more and he’s one of those guys.”
Boston Bruins defenseman Charlie McAvoy and Nashville Predators forward Nick Bonino have joined the team to strengthen the roster after the elimination from the NHL playoffs.
With a quarterfinal spot all but ensured
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, the U.S. faces Norway on Sunday and Finland on Tuesday in their remaining Group B games.
”The most important game is the next one, so we’ll look to continue improving as we get set for Norway,” head coach Jeff Blashill said.
Max Kepler drew a two-out walk with the bases loaded in the 13th inning and the Minnesota Twins outlasted the Chicago White Sox 2-1 Thursday.
The Twins pushed across the go-ahead run after Logan Morrison doubled off left fielder Charlie Tilson’s glove with two outs. Hector Santiago (2-3), the sixth White Sox reliever, intentionally walked Ehire Adrianza before walking Jake Cave and Kepler.
Alan Busenitz (2-0), the Twins’ sixth reliever, pitched 1 2/3 innings for the win.
Minnesota bounced back after the White Sox tied it with two outs in the bottom of the ninth when closer Fernando Rodney walked pinch-hitter Daniel Palka on four pitches to force in a run.
Rodney quickly got the first two Chicago hitters in the inning, but ended up blowing his fourth save in 21 chances. Yolmer Sanchez singled
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, Rodney hit Tim Anderson with a pitch and Charlie Tilson walked before Palka also walked.
Morrison hit his ninth homer deep to right to lead off the seventh for a 1-0 lead. The drive was just Minnesota’s second hit off White Sox starter Lucas Giolito, who didn’t allow any until Eddie Rosario lined a double off first baseman Jose Abreu’s glove with one out in the sixth.
Twins starter Jake Odorizzi tossed six shutout innings in his best outing in more than a month, allowing three hits and striking out eight. The righty was 0-3 with an 8.77 ERA in his six previous starts.
Giolito recovered after walking the bases loaded in the first for his lowest-scoring outing this season. The 6-foot-6 righty, who entered with a 7.01 ERA, allowed one run on four hits and four walks in 6 1/3 innings. He leads the AL with 51 walks.
Giolito escaped the first without allowing a run despite throwing just 11 of his first 26 pitches for strikes.
The White Sox barely threatened against Odorizzi.
Anderson, Chicago’s shortstop, was ejected for the second time in his career in the 11th when he argued with umpire Gerry Davis after being caught stealing second.
Twins: RF Taylor Motter hit the wall hard trying to catch Yoan Moncada’s double in the sixth. Motter stayed down on the warning track for a couple of minutes, but was tended to by the trainer and remained in the game until Kepler pinch hit for him in the seventh. . INF Jorge Polanco (PED suspension) was scheduled to DH in one game and play shortstop in the other in a doubleheader for Triple-A Rochester on Thursday. He can be reinstated on July 5. . OF Byron Buxton (fractured left big toe) will play DH and play center field for Rochester.
White Sox: Sanchez left the game in the 13th after tripping on first base when he ran out a grounder. . Manager Rick Renteria said OF Nicky Delmonico (broken right middle finger) will start swinging a bat soon
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, but isn’t close to beginning a rehab assignment.
Twins: Ace RHP Jose Berrios (8-5, 3.15) takes the mound against LHP Mike Montgomery (2-2, 3.39) as the Twins move across town and meet the Cubs in the opener of a three-game interleague set that starts Friday. Berrios has won his last three decisions over five starts in June and has a 2.10 ERA during the span.
White Sox: RHP Dylan Covey (3-2, 3.45) faces RHP Yovani Gallardo when Chicago opens a three-game series at Texas on Friday. Covey left in the fifth inning of his previous start, last Saturday, with a right hip flexor strain, but after throwing a bullpen session on Tuesday said he felt fine.
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