EDMONTON, Alta. -- Charlie Coyle (East Weymouth, Mass./Boston Univ.) and Jason Zucker (Las Vegas, Nev./Univ. of Denver) scored third-period goals, but the U.S. National Junior Team came up just short in a comeback bid against Canada, losing 3-2 in its final preliminary-round game of the 2012 International Ice Hockey Federation World Junior Championship tonight in Rexall Place.
"I liked the fight back by our team," said Dean Blais, head coach of the U.S. National Junior Team. "We're disappointed to not be playing for a medal, but we still have two games to go in this tournament, and we will continue to fight."
Canada took a 3-0 lead after the opening period, but the U.S. began to push back in the second. Team USA outshot Canada, 12-9, in the second period, creating multiple scoring chances including breakaways by Kyle Rau (Eden Prairie, Minn./Univ. of Minnesota) and Emerson Etem (Long Beach, Calif./Medicine Hat Tigers).
Midway through the third period, Charlie Coyle (East Weymouth, Mass./Boston Univ.) snapped a wrist shot just under the crossbar for his fourth goal of the tournament to put the U.S. on the board.
At 13:12 of the third period, Team USA struck again. After strong work behind the Canadian net by Bill Arnold (Needham, Mass./Boston College), Etem poked the loose puck to Jason Zucker (Las Vegas, Nev./Univ. of Denver), whose wraparound attempt hit the skate of Canadian goalie Scott Wedgewood and deflected into the net.
U.S. netminder Jack Campbell (Port Huron, Mich./Sault Ste. Marie Greyhounds) was pulled in favor of an extra attacker with 1:50 to play, but despite some good pressure, Canada hung on for the win. Campbell made 32 saves, while Wedgewood stopped 30 shots.
The U.S. National Junior Team will next face Latvia on Tuesday (Jan. 3) at 1 p.m. EST, in Calgary, Alta., in its first of two relegation-round games. The contest will be streamed live in the United States on NHL.com.
NOTES: Jacob Trouba (Rochester, Mich./U.S. National Under-18 Team) was named Team USA's Player of the Game ... Team USA finished 0-for-5 on the power play, while Canada was 1-for-4 with the man advantage ... In other tournament action, Finland blanked the Czech Republic, 4-0; Slovakia topped Switzerland, 6-4; and Sweded edged Russia, 4-3, in overtime ... Team USA completed the preliminary round with a 1-0-0-3 (W-OTW-OTL-L) record to place fourth in Group B ... The U.S. will face Latvia (Jan. 3) and Switzerland (Jan. 4) in the relegation round ... Dean Blais, head men's ice hockey coach at the University of Nebraska Omaha, is serving as head coach of the 2012 U.S. National Junior Team. He is assisted by Scott Sandelin, head men's ice hockey coach at the University of Minnesota Duluth; Tom Ward, head ice hockey coach of the Shattuck-St. Mary's School's boys' prep team; and Joe Exter, assistant men's ice hockey coach at Ohio State University ... Jim Johannson, USA Hockey's assistant executive director of hockey operations, is serving as the general manager of Team USA for the third consecutive year. Tim Taylor (Guilford, Conn.), former U.S. Olympic Men's Ice Hockey Team head coach and longtime Yale University men's ice hockey team head coach, is also serving his third straight year as Team USA's director of player personnel ... The U.S. National Junior Team blog will provide daily updates with game recaps, photos and multimedia content. The blog can be found here ... Use the hashtag #USAWJCto join the conversation on Twitter.
Scoring By Period
USA 0 - 0 - 2 - 2
CAN 3 - 0 - 0 - 3
First Period - Scoring: 1, CAN, Stone (Huberdeau, D. Hamilton), 5:39 (pp); 2, CAN, Schwartz (Stone, Strome), 10:12; 3, CAN, Connolly (unassisted), 15:59. Penalties: CAN, D. Hamilton (high-sticking), 1:08; USA, Clendening (cross-checking), 2:57; USA, Tinordi (roughing), 5:10.
Second Period - Scoring: None. Penalties: CAN, Strome (tripping), 8:47; USA, Rau (slashing), 14:49; USA, Etem (tripping), 15:41; CAN, D. Hamilton (tripping), 16:59; CAN, Howden (cross-checking), 19:45.
Third Period - Scoring: 4, USA, Coyle (Miller), 9:49; 5, USA, Zucker (Arnold, Etem), 13:12. Penalties: CAN, Gormley (delaying-the-game), 0:50; USA, Arnold (roughing), 6:31; CAN, Jenner (slashing), 6:31.
|Shots by Period||1||2||3||Total|
|USA, Campbell 58:20||19-16||9-9||7-7||35-32|
|CAN, Wedgewood 60:00||8-8||12-12||12-10||32-30|
Power Play: USA 0-5; CAN 1-4
Penalties: USA 5-10; CAN 6-12
Officials: Referees - Vyacheslav Bulanov (RUS), Soeren Persson (SWE); Linesmen - Johannes Kack (SWE), Milan Novak (SVK)
|Mon., Dec. 26||Denmark||Edmonton||6 p.m.|
|Wed., Dec. 28||Finland||Edmonton||1:30 p.m.|
|Fri., Dec. 30||Czech Republic||Edmonton||1:30 p.m.|
|Sat., Dec. 31||Canada||Edmonton||6 p.m.|
|Mon., Jan. 2||Quarterfinals||Calgary||TBD|
|Tues., Jan. 3||Semifinals||Calgary||TBD|
|Thurs., Jan. 5||Bronze-Medal Game||Calgary||1:30 p.m.|
|Gold-Medal Game||Calgary||6 p.m.|
*All games in Edmonton will be played at Rexall Place. All games in Calgary will be played at Scotiabank Saddledome.