CORNWALL, Ontario – The U.S. Junior Select Team used power-play goals from Quinn Finley (Suamico, Wis.), Garrett Schifsky (Andover, Minn.) and Sam Rinzel (Chanhassen, Minn.) on the way to a 7-2 win over Canada East in preliminary round play at the 2022 World Junior A Challenge tonight at the Cornwall Civic Complex.
“I thought our first period was excellent,” said Eric Rud (Inner Grove Heights, Minn.), head coach of the U.S. Junior Select Team. “We played the right way, our power play was clicking, and that really got us off on the right foot. As the game went on, we were a little undisciplined and took way too many penalties. I don’t think we played our best and we certainly can’t take that many penalties moving forward. But overall, a lot of guys had great games tonight and we’re obviously very happy with the result.”
Joe Palodichuk (Cottage Grove, Minn.) got the U.S. on the board at the halfway point of the first. Mac Swanson (Anchorage, Alaska) made a backhand pass from the slot to Cole Knuble (Grand Rapids, Mich.). Knuble connected with Palodichuk net front, who sent the puck top shelf to take the lead.
Canada East tied the game up two minutes later on a power play, but the U.S. quickly answered back when Finley netted a shot from the top of the left circle with 6:35 left in the period. Knuble and Jake Livanavage (Gilbert, Ariz.) picked up assists on the tic-tac-toe play.
Schifsky added a third U.S. goal on the power play after Livanavage fired a shot from the point and he deflected it in with 3:58 to play in the opening frame. Rinzel put Team USA up 4-1 on the power play just over a minute later, weaving through four Canadian skaters and beating netminder Ethan Morrow at the 16:02 mark.
Canada East made it 4-2 with 6:51 left in the middle frame, but just 1:39 later, Maddox Fleming (Rochester, Minn.), ripped a shot short side from the right circle to extend the U.S lead to 5-2. Rinzel earned an assist on the play.
Just 34 seconds later, Eric Pohlkamp (Brainerd, Minn.) buried his own rebound to extend the lead to 6-2 and Ryan St. Louis (Burlington, Vt.) added another to bring the final tally to 7-2.
Jacob Fowler (Melbourne, Fla.) finished with 23 saves in the U.S. net.
Team USA finishes preliminary round play Friday (Dec. 16) against Latvia. Opening faceoff is set for 2 p.m. ET and the game will be streamed live.
NOTES: Garrett Schifsky was named the U.S. Player of the Game … Team USA outshout Canada East 45-25 … Team USA was 3-9 on the power play, while Canada East was 1-9 … For Team USA’s roster and schedule, click here.