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Team USA Tops Czech Republic in OT, Finishes Third at World Junior A Challenge

By USA Hockey, 12/15/19, 2:35PM EST


U.S. Junior Select Team earns 13th consecutive medal in tournament

Dawson Creek, British Columbia – In a matchup between the top two teams in the World Junior A Challenge standings, the U.S. Junior Select Team beat the Czech Republic 2-1 in overtime of the third-place game today at Encana Events Centre. Trevor Kuntar (Williamsville, N.Y.) scored the game winning goal to solidify Team USA’s 13th all-time medal in World Junior A Challenge play.

“It’s the biggest honor in all of sports, to be able to represent your country on a global stage,” said head coach Anthony Noreen (Kearney, Neb.). “For me as a coach, I couldn’t be more thankful and appreciative for this opportunity to coach this team. And I’m thankful to the players. As a coach, you have to evaluate if they gave you everything they had, and I think this group did. This group was bought in, they left everything out on the ice and they deserved to leave with a medal.”

The U.S. outshot the Czech Republic 14-5 in the first period, but both teams were held scoreless going into the first intermission.

WJAC History

U.S. goaltender Ethan Haider (Maple Grove, Minn.) stood tall in net for Team USA, recording 12 saves in the second period. Despite scoring opportunities for both sides, the game remained scoreless after two periods.

Just over five minutes into the third period, Sean Farrell (Hopkinton, Mass.) scored the first goal of the game after he knocked in a rebound off a shot from Christian Berger (St. Louis, Mo.). Mitch Miller (Sylvania, Ohio) also earned an assist on the play.

With the U.S. up 1-0 late in the third, the Czech Republic pulled goaltender Jakub Dobes for an extra skater. Daniel Poizl capitalized for the Czech Republic with five seconds left on the clock to tie the game at 1-1 and force overtime.

Just 2:14 into overtime, Kuntar netted a breakaway feed from Michael Koster (Chaska, Minn.) to secure the win and a third-place finish for Team USA.

Haider made 37 saves in net for the United States.

NOTESEthan Haider (Maple Grove, Minn.) was the U.S. Player of the Game … The Czech Republic outshot the United States 38-31…The U.S. went 0-5 on the power play and 2-2 on the penalty kill… Haider finished the tournament with an undefeated record through three games … The United States continued its streak of medaling in every World Junior A Challenge since joining in 2007... For complete statistics, click here.

U.S. Schedule

Date Opponent/Round Result Location Broadcast/Streaming U.S. Player of the Game
Thur., Dec. 5 Canada East
W, 6-0
Chetwynd Rec Centre
Chetwynd, B.C.
Live Stream
Sat., Dec. 7 Canada West
W, 3-2
Encana Events Centre
Dawson Creek, B.C.
Live Stream
Brendan Brisson
Mon., Dec. 9 Czech Republic
OTW, 5-4
Encana Events Centre
Dawson Creek, B.C.
Live Stream
Gunnarwolfe Fontaine
Wed., Dec. 11 Canada East
W, 7-3 North Peace Arena
Fort St. John, B.C.
No Stream Brendan Brisson
Fri., Dec. 13 Russia
W, 7-2 Encana Events Centre
Dawson Creek, B.C.
Live Stream
Josh Lopina
Sat., Dec. 14 Canada East
SOL, 1-2
Encana Events Centre
Dawson Creek, B.C.
Live Stream
Logan Stein
Sun., Dec. 15 Czech Republic
Third-Place Game
OTW, 2-1
Encana Events Centre
Dawson Creek, B.C.
TSN Ethan Haider

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