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U.S. National Junior Team Falls to Canada, 5-3

By USAHockey.com, 12/31/14, 6:15PM EST

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U.S. Will Face Russia in Quarterfinals Friday at 1 p.m. ET on NHL Network

MONTREAL — The U.S. National Junior Team dropped a 5-3 decision to host Canada in its final preliminary contest of the IIHF World Junior Championship this afternoon. Goaltender Thatcher Demko (San Diego, Calif./Boston College), who made 38 saves, was named the U.S. Player of the Game.

“It was a heckuva hockey game between two good teams,” said Mark Osiecki, head coach of the 2015 U.S. National Junior Team. “Our guys battled to the finish. Certainly it’s disappointing to lose, but we’ll be better from this game.”

Canada opened the scoring at 7:07 of the second period and built a two-goal lead 3:04 later. Team USA cashed in on the man advantage to cut Canada’s lead in half when Sonny Milano (Massapequa, N.Y./Plymouth Whalers) passed through the slot to Anthony DeAngelo (Philadelphia, Pa./Sarnia Sting) low in the right circle for a one-time shot.

Canada regained a two-goal lead at 10:01 of the third period, but the U.S. climbed to within 3-2 with 2:34 left when Hudson Fasching (Apple Valley, Minn./University of Minnesota) stickhandled into the slot and found a wide-open Dylan Larkin (Waterford, Mich./University of Michigan) by the post. Demko was pulled for an extra attacker just 29 seconds later, and despite some good pressure by the U.S, Canada’s Sam Reinhart scored an empty-net goal with 54 seconds left to make it 4-2. Larkin gave the U.S. hope when he came down the right side and beat Eric Comrie high to the glove side at 19:43 to make it 4-3. With Demko pulled again, Canada’s Max Domi accounted for the 5-3 final with an empty-net goal at 19:55.

Team USA will face Russia in the quarterfinals on Friday (Jan. 2) with the opening faceoff set for 1 p.m. ET at the Bell Centre in Montreal. The game will be broadcast live on NHL Network and streamed live on NHL.com.

Notes: The U.S. finished the preliminary round of play as the second seed in Group A … The U.S. was one-for-three on the power play … Dylan Larkin leads the tournament with five goals and is tied for second in points … For complete Team USA coverage visit worldjuniors.usahockey.com … Follow @USAHockeyScores for in-game updates. Join the U.S. World Juniors conversation on Twitter using #USAWJC.

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