CORNWALL, Ontario – The U.S. Junior Select Team had a 37-32 shots-on-goal advantage, but dropped a 5-3 decision to Canada West here tonight in its opening preliminary round game of the 2022 World Junior A Challenge at the Cornwall Civic Complex.
“Tonight they outworked us from the start of the game to the end of the game,” said Eric Rud (Inner Grove Heights, Minn.), head coach of the U.S. Junior Select Team. “They were ready to go, and we were not. It’s disappointing for the first one not to have our A-game, but now we have a starting point to build off of.”
Canada West took a 1-0 lead with a power-play goal at 6:36 of the opening frame.
The U.S. answered back just more than two minutes later when Sam Harris (San Diego, Calif.) slipped the puck past Canadian netminder Erick Roest from in close on a 5-on-3 power play with Ryan St. Louis (Burlington, Vt.) and Jake Livanavage (Gilbert, Ariz.) earning assists on the play.
Canada West regained the lead at 12:06, but the U.S. tied the game before the end of the first period when Garrett Schifsky (Andover, Minn.) connected net front with Gavin Lindberg (Moorhead, Minn.), who sent a backhander over the shoulder of Roest at 17:20.
Cole Knuble (Grand Rapids, Mich.) gave the U.S. its first lead with just 28.7 seconds left in the second period with a shorthanded goal. His initial shot the slot that was stopped, but he collected the rebound mid-air and whacked it into the net. Canada West, however, scored on the power play with :01 left in the middle stanza to tie the contest at three after 40 minutes.
Canada West scored what proved to be the game-winner at 11:50 of the third and sealed the game with an empty net goal with :25 remaining in regulation.
Christian Manz (Blaine, Minn.) stopped 27 saves in the U.S. net.
Team USA continues preliminary round play on Tuesday (Dec. 13) against Sweden. Opening faceoff is set for 7 p.m. ET and the game will be streamed live.
NOTES: Cole Knuble was named the U.S. Player of the Game … Team USA was 1-7 on the power play, while Canada West was 2-4 … For Team USA’s roster and schedule, click here.