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U17s Clip Canada Red, 3-2, in Final Game of World U17 Challenge

11/04/2016, 1:15pm EDT
By usahockey.com

Team USA Finishes Tournament in 5th Place

SAULT STE. MARIE, Ontario Jake Pivonka (Woodridge, Ill.) erased Team USA deficits two times and Jacob Semik (Canton, Mich.) added the game-winning goal as the U.S. National Under-17 Team clipped Canada Red, 3-2, in its final game of the 2016 World Under-17 Hockey Challenge here today at the Essar Centre.

With the win, Team USA finished the tournament with a 2-1-0-2 (W-OTW-OTL-L) record for fifth place in the overall standings.

Neither team could find the back of the net in the opening 20 minutes, despite the U.S. outshooting Canada Red 16-6 and each team receiving a power-play opportunity.

Team USA controlled the play to start the second period, not allowing a shot on goal through the opening five minutes and successfully killing off a penalty.

At 12:36, Canada Red went on the man advantage after the U.S. was called for tripping. About a minute into the penalty kill, Canada Red had a breakaway attempt but goaltender Keegan Karki (Sartell, Minn.) made the save off his shoulder.

However, Ryan Merkley gave the Canadians a 1-0 lead shortly after when his shot from the blue line found its way through traffic at 13:56.

In the final two minutes of play in the period, Jonathan Gruden (Rochester, Mich.) almost evened the score but his shot from in close rang off the left post.

Just :46 into the third frame, Trevor Janicke (Maple Grove, Minn.) sent a pass to Pivonka from below the goal line, and Pivonka buried it to even the game at 1-1.

Canada Red restored its lead at 8:34 after Benoit-Olivier Groulx got his stick on a loose puck in front of the U.S. net.

With 5:41 to play, Pivonka tied the game again by gathering a loose puck at the left post, wrapping around the net, and banking it off a Canada Red defenseman. Just 2:50 later, Semik snapped a wrist shot from the left circle into the upper right corner of the net for the game-winner.

NOTES: Jake Pivonka was named the U.S. Player of the Game ... For more information on the U.S. National Under-17 Team competing at the 2016 World Under-17 Hockey Challenge, click here.

All games will take place at the Essar Centre in Sault Ste. Marie, Ontario.
*Pre-tournament game

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