PRAGUE — Brock Nelson scored twice and added an assist May 10 as the United States clinched a spot in the quarterfinal of the ice hockey world championship with a 3-1 victory over Slovenia.
The Czech Republic also advanced to the knockout stage by beating Germany 4-2.
Nelson has six goals at the tournament and leads the scoring chart together with Sweden’s Filip Forsberg.
The U.S. team leads Group B with 15 points from six games, while Russia and Finland are tied for second with 12. Slovenia has zero and will be demoted to the second-tier tournament next year.
“All through the game we did a good job of getting to the net,” said Los Angeles Kings forward Trevor Lewis, who had three assists. “That’s where all the goals came from. Brock’s a big strong guy and he was really good around the net tonight.”
Nelson netted off Mike Reilly’s pass from behind the net 4:17 into the game and added his second on a power play with 3:28 remaining in the first period. Jack Eichel had the third American goal in the final period.
Ales Music netted for Slovenia on a breakaway in the second.
U.S. goaltender Connor Hellebuyck stopped 21 shots.
Jaromir Jagr set up captain Jakub Voracek 7:36 into the final period to score the winning goal for the Czechs, who joined Sweden in second place of Group A with 13 points, two behind leading Canada. Germany has six.
“It was our duty to advance,” Voracek said. “We are well aware that we’re strong in offense. There’s no need to panic when we’re 1-0 down. We have to focus on avoiding defensive errors. The goals will come for sure.”
The 43-yeard-old Jagr added an insurance goal with 4:02 to go for his fourth at the tournament.
In the first period, Michal Vondrka answered Daniel Pietta’s goal for Germany. Michael Wolf restored the German lead in the second before Petr Koukal tied the game again for the Czechs rally.
Russia can also clinch a quarterfinal berth by beating Slovakia later May 10, while Canada plays Switzerland.