United States Defeat Hungary For The Second Time In A Week

May 27, 2012; Newport Beach, CA, USA; United States attacker Tony Azevedo (8) against Hungary at Newport Harbor high school. The United States defeated Hungary 12-9. Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee/Image of Sport-US PRESSWIRE

The 12-9 victory that the United States had over Hungary could have been considered a fluke by some since Hungary arrived the night before a 12 p.m. local start time and they were let jagged. Well, the two squads faced off again on May 31 at the campus of UCLA. For the second time in less than a week Team USA defeated Hungary 9-5, and this win was even more impressive effort than the prior win.

The United States had another great game by goalie Merrill Moses who had eight saves and the offense converted 5-of-8 power play attempts to earn the win. Team USA also never trailed in this game, and responded to nearly every Hungarian goal on the following possession.

Team USA started off fast as they did in the first game by going out to a quick 3-0 lead. The first two goals were scored by Tony Azevedo, the first came 48 seconds into the game on a power play goal and the second was four minutes later and also on a power play.

The third goal of the quarter came with 26 seconds left Brian Alexander gave Team USA a 3-0 lead on yet another power play goal.

The second quarter saw little scoring as each team only put up one goal, and heading into the half it was 4-1 in favor of the United States.

Hungary came out in the third quarter to make it a 4-2 game on a power play goal, but Azevedo responded on the very next possession on a play where he beat a pair of defenders to put Team USA back ahead by three goals. Hungary and the United States would exchange goals again. That United States goal came from J.W. Krumpholz who was seeing his first action since he suffered a concussion in the FINA World League prelims earlier in May.

At the end of the third quarter the United States would lead 7-3 and then made it 8-3 at the beginning of the fourth quarter to give them their largest lead over Hungary with a John Mann goal. Hungary did score the next to goals to give the United States a scare to make it 8-5, but with 2:03 left in the game Peter Hudnut sealed the game with one final goal.

The defense for Team USA had one of their best efforts by allowing only five goals and holding Hungary to only 2-of-8 on power play chances.

Prior to the game Moses said he wants Hungary to remember them:

"Make them remember us. Let's embarrass them. Ever since that gold-medal game, I've been dying to play them. Every chance we get to play them, we're going to step it to them."

There was a minor scare when Moses jammed his left middle finger on a save attempt, but he finished the game and said that the injury was not serious at all.

Head coach Terry Schroeder was happy for the win, but he knows Hungary will be ready for London:

"(This victory) says right now we're in a good place, but Hungary tends to peak pretty well at the Olympic Games," U.S. coach Terry Schroeder said. "They're going to be a different team in the Olympic Games."

These two teams will play again during pool play at the Olympics, so defeating Hungary twice in one week gives this team a lot of confidence heading into London.

Here are highlights from the 9-5 win:


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