The 2012 FINA World League finals got underway underway in Kazakhstan in the early morning hours on Tuesday here in the United States. The United States played host Kazakhstan in their first match and won 11-8 in the final game of the day.
Details are scarce about the game but the FINA website did put up some notes about the games. The United States started off fast by going up 4-2, but Kazakhstan was able to tie the game at four as Alexey Panfili scored the first of his three goals at the end of the first quarter.
Team USA stepped up their defense and outscored Kazakhstan 4-1 in the second quarter to go up 8-5 at the half, and then led 10-5 after three periods. In the final frame, the United States relaxed a bit which allowed Kazakhstan back in the game by allowing three goals in the fourth quarter. In the end the United AzevedoStates won 11-8, and that final score is closer than the game actually was.
The power play for Team USA was great as they converted on 7-of-9 and connected on their first six attempts. Kazakhstan held their own by going 5-of-9 on man advantage opportunities. Leading the way for the United States in scoring was Tony Azevedo and Peter Valleras each had three goals in the win.
Also in Team USA's group are both China and Italy; those two teams squared off as well with Italy edging out China 10-9. China was able to hang tough with the Italians by going 5-of-6 on power play chances while Italy went 0-for-3 including going 1-for-3 on penalty shots.
Here is the remaining schedule for Team USA in the preliminary rounds:
June 13 - USA v. China 2:10 p.m. (4:10 a.m. est)
June 14 - USA v. Italy 3:30 p.m. (5:30 a.m. est)