HELSINKI, Finland —The U.S. National Junior Team outshot Russia 13-6 in the third period and Alex Nedeljkovic (Parma, Ohio/Niagara) made 31 saves, but the U.S. National Junior Team fell, 2-1, here tonight in a semifinal matchup at the 2016 International Ice Hockey Federation World Junior Championship.
Team USA will face Sweden in the bronze medal game at 9 a.m. ET tomorrow (Jan. 5) with the contest broadcast live on NHL Network.
"We battled to the end," said Ron Wilson, head coach of the 2016 U.S. National Junior Team. "We hit a couple of posts that kept us from extending our lead and I think if one goes in that changes the outcome of the game. Fortunately, the tournament isn't over and there's still a medal at stake. Our team will be ready to make our country proud."
The U.S. took a 1-0 lead at 9:03 of the opening period when Christian Dvorak (Palos, Ill./London) tapped the puck in off a centering pass following an end-to-end play by Sonny Milano (Massapequa, N.Y./Lake Erie). In the final five minutes of the period, the U.S. killed off two full minutes of a 5-on-3 Russian power play and maintained a 1-0 advantage after 20 minutes.
With 4:52 to play in the second period, Russia tied the game when Pavel Kraskovski snuck the puck inside the left post, and then just 2:48 later, Yegor Korshkov scored what proved to be the game-winner.
The U.S. started the third period with 1:47 of power play time and had another man advantage minutes later, but despite some good chances, couldn't beat Russian goaltender Ilya Samsonov.
The U.S. pulled Nedeljkovic the final 1:59 for an extra skater but could not get the equalizer.
Team USA will look to medal for the fourth time in the last seven years of the tournament in the bronze medal game against Sweden tomorrow.
NOTES: Christian Dvorak, who scored Team USA's only goal, was named the U.S. Player of the Game ... Russia outshot the U.S., 33-27 ... For a complete box score, click here ... The U.S. is 4-0-0-2 (W-OTW-OTL-L) at the 2016 IIHF World Junior Championship ... Auston Matthews has seven goals in this year's World Juniors, the most of any player in the tournament. Matthews' seven goals is one short of tying the U.S. single-tournament record of eight held by Jeremy Roenick (1989) … Team USA has scored 26 goals in its first six games of the 2016 IIHF World Junior Championship and allowed just seven goals ... For more information on the 2016 U.S. National Junior Team, including a full roster, click here ... Use the hashtag #USAWJC on Twitter to join the conversation about the U.S. National Junior Team … All U.S. games will be broadcast live on NHL Network. For more information about the tournament, please click here.
Check back for highlights and post-game comments from Team USA.
|Date||Opponent||Location||Result||U.S. Player of the Game|
|Sat., Dec. 26||Canada||Helsinki Ice Hall||W, 4-2||Colin White|
|Mon., Dec. 28||Sweden||Helsinki Ice Hall||L, 0-1||Zach Werenski|
|Wed., Dec. 30||Switzerland||Helsinki Ice Hall||W, 10-1||Auston Matthews|
|Thu., Dec. 31||Denmark||Helsinki Ice Hall||W, 4-1||Brandon Carlo|
|Sat., Jan. 2||Czech Republic
|Helsinki Ice Hall||W, 7-0||Nick Schmaltz|
|Mon., Jan. 4||Russia
|Hartwall Arena||L, 1-2||Christian Dvorak|
|Tues. , Jan. 5||Sweden
Bronze Medal Game
|Hartwall Arena||W, 8-3||Anders Bjork|