Team USA Loses Shootout Heartbreaker to Canada
CHN Staff Report
SASKATOON, Sask. It was another epic game between the U.S. and Canada. And it was another loss for Team USA.
The Americans suffered their first loss of the tournament, 5-4 in a shootout, and missed a chance for a bye to the semifinals. Instead, Team USA will face Finland — the third seed in Group B — in the quarterfinals Saturday at 8 p.m. (CT).
"Tonight was a great hockey game for fans of these two countries," said Dean Blais, head coach of the U.S. National Junior Team. "It's tough to lose when a game goes to a shootout like tonight. But I thought both teams played great."
The U.S. scored its second shorthanded goal of the game late in the second period to take a 3-2 lead, and extended the lead to 4-2 on a goal by North Dakota's Danny Kristo. But for the second straight year, the U.S. couldn't hold a two-goal third-period against Canada in a pivotal game.
The U.S. took a 2-1 second-period lead while shorthanded. Tyler Johnson stripped a Canada forward in the defensive zone and fed a streaking Jordan Schroeder at center ice. Schroeder, the Minnesota sophomore, fired a shot through the goaltender's pads for his second goal of the tournament.
Following Canada's second goal of the night, Team USA regained the lead with just 11 seconds remaining in the second period. Shorthanded once again, RPI's Jerry D'Amigo broke in on a two-on-one rush and fired a shot on net. Johnson batted in the rebound to give the U.S. a 3-2 advantage.
A scoreless extra frame sent both teams into a shootout. Despite goals by Team USA's Kristo and Jeremy Morin, Canada connected on all three of its shootout attempts to come away with the victory.
Canada, which received a bye to the semifinals, will await the winner of the other quarterfinal game between Russia and Switzerland.
Team USA's quarterfinal game against Finland can be seen live in the U.S. on the NHL Network. It will also be streamed live in the U.S. on FASTHockey.com.
NOTES: In other tournament action, Sweden defeated Finland, 7-1, to win Group B; Switzerland beat Slovakia, 4-1, to advance to the quarterfinals; and Russia knocked off the Czech Republic, 5-2, to secure second place in Group B.