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Team USA Tops Switzerland, 7-3, in Second IIHF World Junior Championship Pre-Tournament Game

12/21/2011, 8:30am EST
By USA Hockey

Saad Scores Twice, Adds Three Assists in Win

CAMROSE, Alta. -- Brandon Saad (Gibsonia, Pa./Saginaw Spirit) scored two goals and added three assists, as a U.S. squad of candidates for the 2012 U.S. National Junior Team topped Switzerland, 7-3, tonight at the Edgeworth Centre.

Tonight's game was the second of three pre-tournament games designed to prepare the U.S. National Junior Team for the 2012 International Ice Hockey Federation World Junior Championship, which will take place Monday (Dec. 26) through Jan. 5 in Edmonton and Calgary, Alta. The final 22-man roster for Team USA will be announced tomorrow morning at 10:30 a.m. EST at USAHockey.com.

"I really liked what I saw from our guys tonight," said Dean Blais, head coach of the U.S. National Junior Team. "We are going to have some incredibly tough decisions to get down from 28 players to our final 22-man list."

The U.S. jumped out to a quick lead when Austin Czarnik (Washington, Mich./Miami University) created a turnover in Switzerland's end and beat Swiss goalie Lukas Meili just 23 seconds into the game. Saad notched his first goal of the night at 15:33 of the opening frame to give Team USA a two-goal lead. Less than two minutes later, Bill Arnold (Needham, Mass./Boston College) connected on a two-on-one rush when he fired a shot high to the glove side to give the U.S. a 3-0 advantage after one.

Switzerland cut the U.S. lead to two goals with a power-play marker at 1:11 of the second period. But Emerson Etem (Long Beach, Calif./Medicine Hat Tigers) notched a power-play goal of his own less than three minutes later to make the score 4-1. Charlie Coyle (East Weymouth, Mass./Boston Univ.) then pushed Team USA's advantage to four goals with a deflection off of a shot by Jake Trouba (Rochester, Mich./U.S. National Under-18 Team).

Following another Swiss goal, T.J. Tynan (Orland Park, Ill./Univ. of Notre Dame) connected into a wide open net thanks to a pass from Saad with just 11 seconds left in the middle frame to give Team USA a 6-2 lead heading into the third period.

Both teams traded goals in the final stanza to close out the scoring, as Saad took advantage of a breakaway opportunity and slipped a shot between the pads of Meili for his second goal of the night. Team USA goalie John Gibson (Pittsburgh, Pa./Kitchener Rangers) stopped 19 shots in the win, while Meili made 30 saves in a losing effort.

Next up for Team USA is an exhibition game on Friday (Dec. 23) against Slovakia in Three Hills, Alta. Puck drop is slated for 7:00 p.m. MST, with full coverage at USAHockey.com.

NOTES: Team USA finished 2-for-3 on the power play, while Switzerland was 2-for-6 with the man advantage ... Team USA will play its first preliminary-round game of the IIHF World Junior Championship on Sunday (Dec. 26) against Denmark. The game, to be televised on NHL Network U.S., will start at 8:00 p.m. EST. ... The U.S. National Junior Team is coming off back-to-back medals in the IIHF World Junior Championship for the first time ever, having earned a bronze medal in last year's event in Buffalo, N.Y., and a gold medal at the 2010 World Junior Championship in Saskatoon, Sask. ... Dean Blais, head men's ice hockey coach at the University of Nebraska Omaha, will serve as head coach of the 2012 U.S. National Junior Team. He will be assisted by Scott Sandelin, head men's ice hockey coach at the University of Minnesota Duluth;Tom Ward, head ice hockey coach of the Shattuck-St. Mary's School's boys' prep team; and Joe Exter, assistant men's ice hockey coach at Ohio State University ... Jim Johannson, USA Hockey's assistant executive director of hockey operations, is serving as the general manager of Team USA for the third consecutive year. Tim Taylor (Guilford, Conn.), former U.S. Olympic Men's Ice Hockey Team head coach and longtime Yale University men's ice hockey team head coach, is also serving his third straight year as Team USA's director of player personnel ... The U.S. National Junior Team blog will provide daily updates with game recaps, photos and multimedia content. The blog can be found here ... Use the hashtag #USAWJC to join the conversation on Twitter.

GAME SUMMARY

Scoring By Period

SUI 0 - 2 - 1 - 3
USA 3 - 3 - 1 - 7

First Period - Scoring: 1, USA, Czarnik (unassisted), 0:23; 2, USA, Saad (Zucker, Coyle), 15:33; 3, USA, Arnold (Archibald), 17:01. Penalties: USA, Clendening (holding), 6:04; USA, Saad (goaltender interference), 12:40.

Second Period - Scoring: 4, SUI, Bertschy (Marti), 1:11 (pp); 5, USA, Etem (Saad, Czarnik), 3:55 (pp); 6, USA, Coyle (Trouba, Saad), 8:48; 7, SUI, Bartschi (unassisted), 17:29; 8, USA, Tynan (Saad, Merrill), 19:49 (pp). Penalties: USA, Clendening (tripping), 0:21; SUI, Baltisberger (hooking), 2:44; SUI, Schneuwly (high-sticking), 17:58.

Third Period - Scoring: 9, SUI, Bertschy (unassisted), 10:26 (pp); 10, USA, Saad (Zucker), 11:10. Penalties: USA, Coyle (goaltender interference), 1:13; USA, Team (too-many-men), 9:34; USA, Brickley (holding), 13:18; SUI, Antonietti (interference), 17:46.

Shots by Period 1 2 3 Total
SUI 4 11 7 22
USA 13 18 6 37
Goaltenders (SH/SV) 1 2 3 Total
SUI, Meili 60:00 13-10 18-15 6-5 37-30
USA, Gibson 60:00 4-4 11-9 7-6 22-19

Power Play: SUI 2-6; USA 2-3
Penalties: SUI 3-6; USA 6-12

Team USA 2012 IIHF World Junior Championship Schedule Dec. 26 - Jan. 5 • Alberta, Canada

Date Opponent Location* Time (MST)
Mon., Dec. 26 Denmark Edmonton 6 p.m.
Wed., Dec. 28 Finland Edmonton 1:30 p.m.
Fri., Dec. 30 Czech Republic Edmonton 1:30 p.m.
Sat., Dec. 31 Canada Edmonton 6 p.m.
Mon., Jan. 2 Quarterfinals Calgary TBD
Tues., Jan. 3 Semifinals Calgary TBD
Thurs., Jan. 5 Bronze-Medal Game Calgary 1:30 p.m.
  Gold-Medal Game Calgary 6 p.m.

*All games in Edmonton will be played at Rexall Place. All games in Calgary will be played at Scotiabank Saddledome.
^Pre-tournament game

Tag(s): 2012 IIHF WJC  Men's  World Juniors