That’s four! Detroit Red Wings’ Carter Mazur fuels USA’s hot start at World Championship

Detroit Free Press

Add another strong performance to Carter Mazur’s growing resume.

The 21-year-old Detroit Red Wings prospect scored the winning goal Wednesday as the U.S. beat Austria, 4-1, in World Championship pool play at Nokia Arena in Tampere, Finland. Team USA, with a bench staff that includes Wings coach Derek Lalonde, improved to 4-0 in preliminary round action in Group A.

Mazur scored midway through the second period to break a 1-1 tie. He took a feed from T.J. Tynan along the boards and went to the low slot to fire a wrist shot blocker-side on Bernhard Starkbaum. It was Mazur’s second point of tournament, having earned an assist in the opening-day victory over host Finland.

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The U.S. next plays Denmark on Saturday, France on Sunday, and finishes up the preliminary round Tuesday against Sweden, which has Wings forwards Lucas Raymond and Jonatan Berggren on the roster. The U.S. is in first place in Group A, while Moritz Seider’s Germany is at the bottom of the standings having started the tournament with three straight losses. The top four teams in each group advance to the quarterfinals, which begin May 25. The tournament runs through May 28, when gold, silver and bronze will be awarded.

More: Detroit Red Wings’ Lucas Raymond helps Sweden shoot down Finland at World Championship

The tournament can seem like a consolation for NHL players whose teams don’t make the playoffs, or lose early, but the World Championship is an elite tournament and outstanding experience especially for someone like Mazur. Since the Wings drafted him in the third round (No. 70) in 2021, he has played mostly at the University of Denver the last two seasons. He got a brief taste of what it is like to play against men at the end of this past season when he joined the struggling Grand Rapids Griffins for half a dozen games (recording three goals and three assists), but playing at Worlds is a higher level of competition. Mazur got in trouble Wednesday when he tripped Bernd Wolf, leading to a penalty shot for the Austrians, but goaltender Cal Petersen made the save.

It’s beneficial for the Wings that Mazur is playing right in front of Lalonde, who is getting a prime look at when and how this prospect may be able to help the Wings. The man who drafted Mazur, Steve Yzerman, is an assistant general manager with Team Canada, which is part of the the group that is based in Riga, Latvia.

Training camp is a long ways off, but Mazur will go into the offseason having a better feel for the pro game, and that will help him when he makes a push for the Wings come next fall during exhibition season.

Contact Helene St. James at Follow her on Twitter @helenestjames.

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Her latest book, “On the Clock: Behind the Scenes with the Detroit Red Wings at the NHL Draft,” is available from  Amazon, Barnes & Noble and Triumph Books. Personalized copies available via her e-mail.

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