December 27, 2009 PRINT Bookmark and Share

U.S. Rallies to Win World Junior Opener

CHN Staff Report

SASKATOON, Saskatchewan — Team USA overcame an early two-goal deficit and defeated Slovakia, 7-3, in the opening game of the World Junior Championship.

"I was happy with our resiliency after falling behind early," said Nebraska-Omaha coach Dean Blais, head coach of the U.S. National Junior Team. "We created a lot of scoring chances, and showed a lot of poise after those two quick goals."

Slovakia established a 2-0 lead just more than five minutes into the contest with a pair of power-play goals.

Team USA cut the Slovakia lead in half midway through the period when John Carlson fired a slap shot through traffic and past goalie Marek Ciliak. Then, just two minutes into the second period, Jeremy Morin knotted the score.

Wisconsin's Derek Stepan, the U.S. captain, gave his team the lead when he fired a shot from the slot past Ciliak five minutes into the middle frame. The U.S. took a 4-2 lead on the power play when Denver's Matt Donovan's shot from the high slot found the back of the net.

The U.S. later got goals from Danny Kristo (North Dakota), Jordan Schroeder (Minnesota) and Jerry D'Amigo (Rensselaer).

Team USA goalie Mike Lee (St. Cloud State) turned aside 17 shots in the win.

Next action for Team USA comes Sunday at 3 p.m. (CT) against Switzerland. The game can be seen live in the U.S. on the NHL Network. It will also be streamed live in the U.S. on

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