BONNYVILLE, Alta. – Cayden Primeau (Voorhees, N.J.) made 34 saves, but the U.S. Junior Select Team fell to Czech Republic, 1-0, here today in the opening game of the World Junior A Challenge.
'We’re obviously disappointed not to open the tournament with a win," said Jay Varady, head coach of the 2016 U.S. Junior Select Team. "At the same time, we look forward to the opportunity to hop right back on the ice tomorrow and turn things around."
Primeau stood tall in the opening period, making nine saves to keep the game scoreless entering the first intermission.
Team USA generated multiple scoring chances during a pair of power-play opportunities in the middle frame, but couldn’t find the back of the net. Primeau kept the Czechs off the board with 16 saves in the stanza, including a sprawling pad stop on a rebound late in the period.
Kristian Reichel's power play goal at 4:18 of the third period from the top of the right circle proved to be the game-winner for the Czechs.
The U.S. continued to pressure for the equalizer, generating 11 shots on goal in the last frame, but was unable to beat goaltender Petr Kvaca.
Team USA returns to action tomorrow (Dec. 13) against Canada East at 9:30 p.m. ET. The game will be streamed live on HockeyTV.com in addition to being updated live on Twitter @USAHockeyScores.
NOTES: Cayden Primeau was named U.S. Player of the Game … The U.S. was outshot by the Czech Republic 35-30, finished 0-for-3 on the power play and 3-for-4 on the penalty kill … For complete game stats, click here … The World Junior A Challenge is in its 11th year, and the U.S. is competing for the 10th time … All U.S. players currently play in the United States Hockey League, the lone Tier I junior hockey league in the United States. For the full U.S. roster, click here … For complete coverage of Team USA. at the World Junior A Challenge, click here … The 2016 field includes Canada East, Canada West, Czech Republic, Russia, Switzerland and the United States … Team USA has captured the World Junior A Challenge title six times (2008-10, 2012-14).