Team USA White dropped its opening match against Finland, 2-1, at the 2021 World Junior Summer Showcase. Luke Tuch scored the lone goal for the U.S.
Finland jumped to a 1-0 lead after the first period, thanks to a backhand goal from Oliver Kapanen. However, the U.S. pushed play in the period, nearly scoring twice past Finnish netminder Leevin Merilainen. A diving Ty Smilanic tried to push in a rebound off a Wyatt Kaiser shot, and Dylan Duke fresh off the bench nearly cashed in on a cross-ice pass from Thomas Bordeleau.
Tuch tied the game for Team White with a power-play marker with 13 seconds remaining in the middle period. Bordeleau carried the puck into the offensive zone and danced between two defenders, leaving an open Tuch on the wing to fire the puck into the net.
Finland regained the advantage from a shot fired from the faceoff circle, with just 11:07 remaining in regulation.
Kaiden Mbereko played the first two periods for the U.S., stopping nine of 10 shots. Aidan Campbell stopped four of five in the third period. The U.S. outshot Finland, 29-15. The U.S. was one for three on the power play, and a perfect five for five on the penalty kill.
Tanner Dickinson led the U.S. attack with two goals, as USA Blue went on to defeat Sweden, 4-2 in 2021 World Junior Summer Showcase opening play.
Sweden jumped to an early 1-0 lead in the first period, after both teams exchanged chances in the opening five minutes of play. Ian Moore delivered a perfect pass from the blue line to the lower dot, where Dickinson tied the game up on the power play at one goal apiece.
The U.S. penalty kill, led by netminder Drew Commesso, kept things tied early in the middle frame, killing off two 5-on-3 Sweden power plays. Commesso stopped all 15 shots he faced in the period. The score remained tied until Dickinson collected a loose puck in the waning seconds of play, firing the puck past Swedish netminder Calle Clang.
Sweden tied the game at two apiece with four minutes remaining, but the U.S. responded quickly as Carter Mazur jammed home a puck out in front from Matthew Knies and Scott Morrow. USA forward Tristan Broz scored an empty net goal, putting USA Blue up 4-2.
Commesso played the first two periods of play, stopping 22 of 23 shots. Tucker Tynan played in net for the third period, stopping eight of nine shots. The U.S. outshot Sweden 32-31, going one for two on the power play and five for six on the penalty kill.
Action will continue on Tuesday at USA Hockey Arena, as USA Blue is scheduled to play Sweden at 1 p.m. ET, and USA White will square off against Finland at 4 p.m. ET. All games will be broadcast live on HockeyTV.com. Fans can purchase tickets here.