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U.S. Defeats Canada West in World Jr. A Challenge, 5-1

By USA Hockey, 12/14/23, 9:45PM EST

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Team USA to face Canada East in final preliminary round contest Friday

Team USA celebrates win over Canada West

TRURO, Nova Scotia — Mac Swanson (Anchorage, Alaska) scored twice and added an assist while Hampton Sluknysky (Warroad, Minn.) made 22 saves to lead the U.S. Junior Select Team to a 5-1 preliminary round win over Canada West in the 2023 World Jr. A Challenge at Rath Eastlink Community Centre on Thursday.

"It was good to get the win, but I thought we could improve our decision making with the puck," said Matt Smaby (Minneapolis, Minn.), head coach of the U.S. Select Junior Team. "I know our group will respond with a great effort tomorrow night."

James Reeder (Glenview, Ill.) opened the scoring after he banked in a backdoor goal on a feed from Trevor Connelly (Tustin, Calif.) 14:18 into the game.

Joe Connor (Amherst, N.H.) added to the U.S. tally with 4:06 remaining in the opening stanza when he netted a rebound from Gavin Lindberg (Fergus Falls, Minn.).

The U.S. offense didn’t let up in the second period, and at the 4:56 mark, Connor found Kaden Shahan (Everett, Wash.), who cruised past the defense before capitalizing with a wrister into the top corner. Less than a minute later, Swanson deflected a shot from Reeder to give the U.S. a 4-0 advantage.

GAME PHOTOS

Canada West’s Layne Loomer got his team on the board at the halfway mark of the second.

The U.S. went on the power play in the final frame after Canada West received a five-minute major for charging. Swanson netted his second tally of the game on the man advantage, assisted by Connelly and Connor.

Sluknysky backstopped the U.S. to a 5-1 victory with 22 saves.

NOTES: Mac Swanson was named the U.S. Player of the Game… Team USA outshot Canada West 27-23 … Both Team USA and Canada West were 1-4 on the power play… Team USA is 3-0-0-0 (W-OTW-OTL-L) in the tournament… For Team USA’s roster and schedule, click here.

2023 WJAC

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