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U.S. National Junior Team Defeats Finland, 6-2

01/02/2010, 12:00pm EST
By USA Hockey

IIHF World Junior Championship Quarterfinals victory sends squad to Semifinal

SASKATOON, Sask. - The U.S. National Junior Team scored three third-period goals to pull away from Finland, 6-2, in the quarterfinals of the 2010 International Ice Hockey Federation World Junior Championship. The U.S. (4-0-1-0) will face Sweden in the semifinals tomorrow (Jan. 3) at 8 p.m. CST.

Jordan Schroeder (Prior Lake, Minn./Univ. of Minnesota) recorded three assists on the night, making him the United States' all-time career World Junior Championship points leader. A three-time U.S. National Junior Team Member (2008-10), Schroeder's 26 points (6-20) eclipsed the former record of 25 held by Jeremy Roenick (13-12)."I was happy with our early jump offensively," said Dean Blais, head coach of the U.S. National Junior Team. "I thought our goaltender truly was our best player tonight, though. He came through when we really needed him tonight.

The U.S. took a 1-0 lead just two minutes into the first period. Schroeder gained the offensive zone and sent the puck to Philip McRae (Chesterfield, Mo.) at the point. McRae then feathered a pass through traffic to a crashing Kyle Palmieri (Montvale, N.J./Univ. of Notre Dame) who tipped in his first goal of the tournament.

Team USA extended its lead four minutes later on the power play. From the far corner, Schroeder found defenseman Matt Donovan (Edmond, Okla./Univ. of Denver) on the near post, who buried the shot to give the U.S. a 2-0 advantage after one period.

Both teams traded goals in the second period. Jerry D'Amigo (Binghamton, N.Y./Rensselaer) fired a wrist shot from the slot past Finland goalie Joni Ortio to give the U.S. a 3-0 advantage. But Finland got on the board later in the frame when Eero Elo collected his own rebound and sent a shot over the glove of Mike Lee (Roseau, Minn./St. Cloud State Univ.).

Chris Kreider (Boxford, Mass./Boston College) restored Team USA's three-goal advantage two minutes into the third. Kreider set up in the Finland slot and sent a one-timer over the blocker of Ortio for his fifth goal of the tournament.

The U.S. whethered a third period rally by Finland, who fired 23 shots on net in the game's final frame. Lee allowed only one goal in the final 20 minutes, however, and D'Amigo's empty-net goal with 54 seconds remaining, along with a Danny Kristo (Eden Prairie, Minn./Univ. of North Dakota) tally just nine seconds later, sent Team USA to the 6-2 victory.

Lee, who was named Team USA's Player of the Game, finished the night with 42 saves. Finland's Ortio had 19 saves in the loss.

Team USA's semifinal game against Sweden 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: The U.S. advanced to the semifinals of the World Junior Championship for the seventh time in eight years ... Jordan Schroeder, whose 20 career World Junior Championship assists are already a U.S. record, moved into third on the all-time World Junior Championship career assists list, surpassing Eric Lindros' 19 ... The 2010 IIHF World Junior Championship runs Dec. 26 - Jan. 5 in Regina and Saskatoon, Sask. For Team USA's full schedule and results, click here... The NHL Network (U.S.) and FASTHockey.com will air every U.S. game live from Saskatoon ... In other tournament action, Switzerland defeated Russia, 3-2, in overtime to advance to a semifinal match-up against Canada. For complete results and stats from the tournament, visit IIHF.com... For full coverage of the 2010 U.S. National Junior Team, including photos, videos and features, click here.

Game Summary

Scoring By Period

FIN 0 - 1 - 1 - 2

USA 2 - 1 - 3 - 6

First Period - Scoring: 1, USA, Palmieri (McRae, Schroeder), 2:14; 2, USA, Donovan (Schroeder, Stepan), 6:34 (pp). Penalties: FIN, Team (too-many-men), 5:57.

Second Period - Scoring: 3, USA, D'Amigo (Kristo, Stepan), 12:51; 4, FIN, Elo (Kivisto, Lajunen), 15:17. Penalties: USA, Bourque (tripping), 19:34.

Third Period - Scoring: 5, USA, Kreider (Morin, Jenks), 2:05; 6, FIN, Pakarinen (Sointu, Ikonen), 14:31; 7, USA, D'Amigo (unassisted), 19:07 (en); 8, USA, Kristo (Schroeder, Carlson), 19:16. Penalties: USA, Palmieri (interference), 15:47.


Shots By Perioed

Period USA FIN
First 7 7
Second 10 14
Third 8 21
TOTAL 25 44

Goaltenders (SH/SV)

Stat USA, Lee FIN, Ortio
Mins 60:00 59:28
Pd. 1 Shots 7-7 7-5
Pd. 2 Shots 14-13 10-9
Pd. 3 Shots 23-22 7-5
TOTAL 44-42 24-19

Power Play: FIN 0-2; USA 1-1
Penalties: FIN 1-2; USA 2-4
Attendance: 12,701

Tag(s): 2010 IIHF WJC  Men's  World Juniors