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U.S. falls to Canada West 4-3 in Overtime of World Jr. A Challenge Semifinals

By USA Hockey, 12/16/23, 8:00PM EST


Team USA to face Sweden in third-place game Sunday

TRURO, Nova Scotia — The U.S. National Junior Select Team fell to Canada West, 4-3, in overtime in the 2023 World Jr. A Challenge semifinals at Rath Eastlink Community Centre on Saturday.

Team USA will face Sweden in the third-place game on Sun., Dec. 17 at 12:00 p.m. ET.

“Obviously disappointed with the result,” said Matt Smaby (Minneapolis, Minn.). “Games like that stink but the reality is we have the opportunity to play for a medal and its always an honor to play for your country in meaningful games. We’ll have to respond and get back to our game and make the most of this opportunity.”

Canada West went ahead 1-0 at the 8:57 mark of the opening frame.

Less than two minutes later, Chris Pelosi (Sewell, N.J.) set up Mac Swanson (Anchorage, Alaska) off a turnover, who fed Brandon Svoboda (Level Green, Pa.), as he cut across the offensive zone.  Svoboda fired a shot past the goaltender to level the score.

Canada West responded 11:35 into the first period to take a 2-1 lead.

With 44 seconds remaining in the period, Philippe Blais-Savoie (San Jose, Calif.) netted a goal from the slot to tie the score, 2-2, heading into the middle stanza. Adam Kleber (Chaska, Minn.) and Joe Connor (Amherst, N.H) picked up assists on the play.

Canada West regained the lead 4:54 into the second period


Despite a pair of power play opportunities late in the middle frame, the U.S. headed into the final third trailing 3-2.

James Reeder (Glenview, Ill.) knotted the score at three apiece when he slipped the puck past the Canadian goaltender 1:31 into the third period.

The 3-3 tie held for the remainder of regulation, sending the game to overtime.

Goaltender Hampton Slukynsky (Warroad, Minn.) made a crucial breakaway save for the U.S. in the extra period, but Sam Huck scored 5:36 into overtime to give Canada West a 4-3 win.

NOTES: Hampton Slukynsky made 25 saves and was named the U.S. Player of the Game… Team USA outshot Canada West 40-20 … Team USA was 0-4 on the power play, while Canada East was 0-2 … Team USA is 4-0-1-0 (W-OTW-OTL-L) in the tournament… For Team USA’s roster and schedule, click here.

2023 WJAC

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