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U.S. Edges Canada, 4-3, in Shootout In Front of Record Crowd Outdoors At New Era Field

12/29/2017, 4:30pm EST
By USAHockey.com

A World Juniors Record 44,592 Fans Witness U.S. Come-From-Behind Win

ORCHARD PARK, N.Y. – In front of a record crowd of 44,492, Brady Tkachuk (St. Louis, Mo./Boston University) and Kieffer Bellows (Edina, Minn./ Portland Winterhawks) scored in the shootout and Jake Oettinger (Lakeville, Minn./Boston University) didn’t allow a shootout goal as the U.S. National Junior Team overcame a two-goal deficit to defeat Canada, 4-3, here tonight in its third preliminary round game of the 2018 International Ice Hockey Federation World Junior Championship at New Era Field.

“What a tremendous atmosphere and a terrific bounce-back effort by our players,” said Bob Motzko, head coach of the 2018 U.S. National Junior Team. “This was just another moment in the U.S.-Canada rivalry and something our players and staff will enjoy for years to come. We’ll enjoy this win tonight but come tomorrow our focus turns to Finland.”

Team USA (2-0-0-1/W-OTW-OTL-L) will close preliminary round play on Sunday, Dec. 31, when it takes on Finland. The game is set for 4:00 p.m. ET at KeyBank Center with tickets still available here. That contest, along all U.S. games at the 2018 IIHF World Junior Championship, will be broadcasted on NHL Network.

Canada struck first 4:13 into the game when Cale Makar's shot from the top right circle beat Oettinger while on the power play. Dillon Dube then doubled Canada's lead with 4:43 remaining in the period when his shot got by Oettinger high glove-side. 

In the second period, the U.S. was able to gain control of the play before being rewarded with 3:32 remaining on a slapshot by Bellows. The power play goal started from the back when Oettinger sent the puck up to Casey Mittelstadt (Eden Prairie, Minn./University of Minnesota), who found Bellows at the top of the left circle where he fired a slap shot past Canadian goaltender Carter Hart. Twelve seconds later, though, Canada answered back when Boris Katchouk tipped a long-range shot past Oettinger to push the score to 3-1.

Two goals seven minutes into the final period drew the U.S. even with Canada, 3-3. Mittelstadt was behind both goals, as the first one saw him collected a pass from Scott Perunovich (Hibbing, Minn./University of Minnesota Duluth) to the right of goal before dishing a pass back to Perunovich in the slot for the one-timer goal. Just :34 later, Mittelstadt picked up the puck behind the net, curled towards the left face-off dot and found Tkachuk at the right post for the game-tying goal. 

Both teams exchanged scoring opportunities throughout the rest of the period before the game went into overtime. After the extra period failed to decide a winner, the teams entered a five-round shootout. Bellows and Tkachuk scored on Team USA's first two attempts before Oettinger was able to turn aside four Canadian shooters to close out the win, 4-3.

NOTES: Casey Mittelstadt (Eden Prairie, Minn.) was named the U.S. Player of the Game ... The U.S. outshot Canada, 36-22, went 2-for-3 on the power play and 5-for-6 on the penalty kill. For the complete game statistics, click here ... The 44,592 fans set a new attendance record in IIHF World Junior Championship history, besting the 20,380 single-game attendance record previously set in the gold medal-game of the 2009 IIHF World Junior Championship in Ottawa, Ontario ... Jim Johannson (Colorado Springs, Colo.) is serving as the general manager of Team USA for the ninth consecutive year ... Bob Motzko (St. Cloud, Minn.) is serving as head coach for the 2018 U.S. National Junior Team and joined behind the bench by assistant coaches Greg Brown (Scituate, Mass.), Grant Potulny (Grand Forks, N.D.), Kris Mayotte (Pittsburgh, Pa.) and Steve Miller (Littleton, Colo.) ... USA Hockey’s international council, chaired by Gavin Regan (Potsdam, N.Y.), vice president of USA Hockey, has oversight responsibilities for all U.S. national teams ... All U.S. games will be broadcast live on NHL Network.

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U.S. Schedule

Date Opponent Location Result U.S. Player of Game
Wed., Dec. 20 Belarus
Pre-Tournament Game
Northwest Arena
Jamestown, N.Y.
W, 14-0 NA
Fri., Dec. 22 Sweden
Pre-Tournament Game
Erie Insurance Arena
Erie, Pa.
W, 3-1 Na
Tues., Dec. 26 Denmark
Preliminary Round
KeyBank Center
Buffalo, N.Y.
W, 9-0 Casey Mittelstadt
Thurs., Dec. 28 Slovakia
Preliminary Round
KeyBank Center
Buffalo, N.Y.
L, 2-3 Brady Tkachuk
Fri., Dec. 29 Canada
Preliminary Round
New Era Field*
Orchard Park, N.Y.
W (SO) 4-3 Casey Mittelstadt
Sun., Dec. 31 Finland
Preliminary Round
KeyBank Center
Buffalo, N.Y.
W, 5-4 Joey Anderson
Tues., Jan. 2 Russia
Quarterfinals
KeyBank Center
Buffalo, N.Y.
W, 4-2 Kieffer Bellows
Thurs., Jan. 4 Sweden
Semifinals
KeyBank Center
Buffalo, N.Y.
L, 2-4 Josh Norris
Fri., Jan. 5 Czech Republic
Bronze-Medal Game
KeyBank Center
Buffalo, N.Y.
W, 9-3 Trent Frederic

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