EDMONTON, Alberta – Logan Cooley (West Mifflin, Pa.) and Red Savage (Scottsdale, Ariz.) both tallied a goal but Team USA fell to Finland, 5-2, in its first of two pre-tournament games ahead of the 2022 IIHF World Junior Championship here tonight.
“It was a good learning experience,” said head coach Nate Leaman (East Greenwich, R.I.). “We’re still building our team and finalizing our roster and there’s a lot of good to take from today’s game.”
Team USA came out of the gates quick with good looks on net but faced a fierce Finnish counterattack early. Finland tested U.S. netminder Andrew Oke (Shelby Township, Mich.), as he made a plethora of great saves to keep the game knotted at zero. Still looking for the game’s first goal, Mackie Samoskevich (Newtown, Conn.) skated through the Finnish defense and nearly beat goaltender Juha Jatkola, but a stretch save denied Samoskevich’s opportunity.
Finland broke through with 6:27 left to go in the period, but Cooley tied things up minutes later. On the powerplay, Jack Peart (Grand Rapids, Minn.) sent a cross-ice pass to Cooley who tee’d up a one timer from the faceoff dot with 2:35 to go. The scoring didn’t stop there as Tyler Kleven (Fargo, N.D.) snapped a shot from the slot, which generated a rebound opportunity. Savage had an open net to work with and found the back of the twine with 42 seconds remaining to give Team USA the advantage after one.
Finland tied things up quickly in the second with an extra skater, followed by another powerplay goal 12 seconds into a 5-on-3. Shorthanded, Dominic James (Plymouth, Mich.) controlled a loose puck in the neutral zone and generated a breakaway, but his shot was turned away. Finland added one more in the period to put the U.S. down 4-2 headed into the final frame.
Finland found the back of the net once again in the third to make it a three-goal game. The U.S. had some good looks throughout, but couldn’t break through to drop its first pre-tournament game, 5-2.
Oke, who played the first two periods in goal for the U.S., finished with 20 saves on 24 shots. Remington Keopple (Hudson, Wis.) played the third and stopped six of the seven shots he faced.
NOTES: Logan Cooley (West Mifflin, Pa.) was named U.S. Player of the Game