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Camp Notebook: USA Struggles to Break Through

By, 08/07/13, 9:00PM EDT


LAKE PLACID, N.Y. - Team USA fought an uphill battle on Wednesday afternoon against a strong Sweden power play and came up short in a 4-0 loss at the USA Hockey National Junior Evaluation Camp.

The game was the first for the U.S. after the 44-man camp roster was trimmed to 31 on Tuesday. The newly-formed combinations couldn't find the scoring touch and were slow to put pressure on Sweden at the beginning of each period.

"We couldn't get any momentum tonight," said Team USA head coach Don Lucia. "I think we have to do a better job of getting to second shot opportunites ... our offensive puck support needs to improve. We need to have shorter passes and I think have better support all over the rink."

Penalty Problems

Team USA took seven penalties in the game and Sweden made them pay with two power play goals.

""I'd like to see us eliminate the offensive zone penalties," he said.

Lucia added that some of the penalties came from unfortunate breaks. Steven Santini tried to lift a stick on a breakaway but missed and struck the Swedish attacker in the head with his stick. The unintentional infraction led to a double minor penalty and a power play goal just 11 seconds later.

"A couple of those tonight were unintentional, but you still have to be responsible for your own stick," he added.

Forward Michael McCarron said some of the struggles on the penalty came from not playing together in those situations before, but he added that the team needs to double down on staying out of the penalty box.

"(Lucia) has said discipline wins championships and we haven't been very disciplined," he said.

Evaluation Continues

While fans might focus on the final score, Lucia and his staff were looking at systems, line combinations and other elements that will compromise their entire evaluation for each player.

"We've been moving lines around each and every day so they don't have much continuity with each other," he said. "I was watching today more for systems because we finally had a chance to practice to work on some of that yesterday."

Barber Bounces Back

One of three returners from the 2013 U.S. National Junior Team that won a gold medal in Ufa, Russia, Riley Barber showed some of the best spark for the U.S. offense on Wednesday.

Late in the second period the forward took a shot off of the ear and skated immediately to the bench. Trainers took care of him and had him back on the ice to start the third period.

Barber returned to form immediately and led a U.S. attack with several more scoring chances.

Copp Talks Football

Andrew Copp sat down with NHL Network and talked about his hockey career but also opened up about football. In his senior year he had one game with more than 500 yards passing and seven touchdowns. Check out the video below.

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