TORONTO – Jordan Greenway (Canton, N.Y./Boston University) notched a goal and two assists and Joseph Woll (St. Louis, Mo./Boston College) made 25 saves to lead the U.S. National Junior Team past Canada, 3-1, here today at Air Canada Centre in its final preliminary-round game of the 2017 International Ice Hockey Federation World Junior Championship.
“This was a tough road game to play and I’m proud of every one of these guys for the effort they gave to get the win,” said Bob Motzko (St. Cloud, Minn./St. Cloud State University), head coach of the 2017 U.S. National Junior Team. “We’ve been happy with our team for a while now, but tonight we overcame adversity and played with a lot of fire. We haven’t won anything yet, though. We’ll enjoy this tonight, but starting tomorrow it’s time to turn our attention to the playoff round.”
With the victory, Team USA (4-0-0-0) finishes atop its preliminary round group for the first time since 2011 and advances to the quarterfinal round on Monday (Jan. 2) against the fourth seed from Group A. The game will be televised live on NHL Network and the start time will be officially announced later tonight.
The U.S. jumped out to a 2-0 lead with a pair of power-play goals in the first 6:04 of the contest. Colin White (Hanover, Mass./Boston College) opened the scoring 4:31 into play when he one-timed a centering pass by Greenway to extend his goal-scoring streak to four games to open the tournament.
Greenway doubled Team USA’s advantage just 1:33 later when he collected a feed in the corner from Clayton Keller (St. Louis, Mo./Boston University), skated towards goal and slid a shot between the pads of Canadian netminder Connor Ingram.
The U.S. killed off three minor penalties in the opening frame, including a :48 five-on-three advantage for Canada, to keep the score 2-0 entering the first intermission.
Canada cut Team USA’s lead in half at 8:12 of the second stanza on a goal by Thomas Chabot from the left faceoff dot during a two-man advantage.
The U.S. responded 4:56 later when Jeremy Bracco (Freeport, N.Y./Kitchener Rangers) scored from an odd-angle off a shot attempt by Ryan Lindgren (Minneapolis, Minn./University of Minnesota).
Joey Anderson (Roseville, Minn./University of Minnesota Duluth) nearly added another insurance marker for the U.S. in the final minute of the second period, but his breakaway attempt was gloved by Ingram.
Woll finished with 25 saves, including nine in the final period, to preserve the 3-1 victory for Team USA and earn his second victory of the tournament.
NOTES: Ryan Lindgren was named U.S. Player of the Game … Team USA was outshot by Canada, 26-20, while finishing 2-for-5 on the power play and 5-for-6 on the penalty kill ... For full game stats, click here ... At the 2017 IIHF World Junior Championship, the U.S. competed in Group B alongside Canada, Latvia, Russia and Slovakia. All U.S. games will be broadcast live on NHL Network ... For complete coverage of Team USA at the 2017 IIHF World Junior Championship, click here … Use the hashtag #USAWJC on Twitter to join the conversation about the 2017 U.S. National Junior Team.
|Dec. 21||Switzerland||W, 4-3||Pre-Tournament||Oshawa, Ont.|
|Dec. 23||Czech Republic||W, 4-0||Pre-Tournament||Kingston, Ont.|
|Dec. 26||Latvia||W, 6-1||Preliminary||Toronto, Ont.|
|Dec. 28||Slovakia||W, 5-2||Preliminary||Toronto, Ont.|
|Dec. 29||Russia||W, 3-2||Preliminary||Toronto, Ont.|
|Dec. 31||Canada||W, 3-1||Preliminary||Toronto, Ont.|
|Jan. 4||TBD||TBD||Semifinals||Montreal, Que.|
|Jan. 5||TBD||3:30 p.m.||Bronze Medal||Montreal, Que.|
|TBD||8:00 p.m.||Gold Medal||Montreal, Que.|
THE SERIES VS. CANADA
The United States and Canada are meeting for the 44th time in IIHF World Junior Championship play. All-time, the U.S. is 7-1-3-29-3 (W-OTW-OTL-L-T) against Canada.
A year ago, the United States topped Canada, 4-2, to open the 2016 IIHF World Junior Championship in Helsinki, Finland. Colin White, Zach Werenski, Louie Belpedio and Auston Matthews all scored in the win while Alex Nedeljkovic made 25 saves. White was named the U.S. Player of the Game. For the all-time U.S. series vs. Canada, click here.
IN GOAL TODAY
Joseph Woll (St. Louis, Mo./Boston College) is the likely starter for Team USA. Last Wednesday (Dec. 28), he stopped 18 of the 20 shots he faced to backstop Team USA to a 5-2 victory over Slovakia. A bronze medalist with the 2016 U.S. Under-18 Men’s National Team, Woll has a .917 save percentage, a 2.51 goals against average and 10 wins in 17 games with Boston College this season.
CLAIMING THE GROUP
Team USA has a chance to win its Group for the first time since 2011 and third time in the last 10 IIHF World Junior Championship. Its other group win in the last 10 years took place in 2008.
TERRIERS FACING OFF
Today's game will see Team USA's record-tying six Boston University Terriers, including goaltender Jake Oettinger (Lakeville, Minn.); defenseman Charlie McAvoy (Long Beach, N.Y.); and forwards Kieffer Bellows (Edina, Minn.), Jordan Greenway (Canton, N.Y.), Patrick Harper (New Canaan, Conn.) and Clayton Keller (St. Louis, Mo.) matchup against their college teammate, Dante Fabbro. Back in Boston, Keller and Fabbro are roommates.
TEAM USA STAT RANKINGS
Team USA leads the tournament in shots on goal (117); is tied for second in goals scored (14) and fewest goals allowed (5); and is fifth in power play efficiency (23%) and penalty kill (80%).
Team USA has two players ranked among the top five in the tournament in faceoff percentage with Tanner Laczynski (Shorewood, Ill./Ohio State University) second (74.7%) and Jack Roslovic (Columbus, Ohio/Manitoba Moose) tied for third (70%). Clayton Keller (St. Louis, Mo./Boston University) is tied for third with Colin White (Hanover, Mass./Boston College) for most goals scored with three apiece.
Among goaltenders with more than 60% of their team’s total minutes played, Tyler Parsons (Chesterfield, Mich./London Knights) leads the tournament in fewest goals allowed (3) and ranks second in both save percentage (.923) and goals against (1.50).
THINGS TO KNOW ABOUT TEAM USA
Clayton Keller (3-2--5), Colin White (3-1--4), Troy Terry (2-2--4) and Casey Fitzgerald (0-3--3) have a point in every U.S. game ... Last night, Auston Matthews, alternate captain of last year’s bronze medal-winning U.S. team, visited the team to wish them good luck. Aside from Matthews, the Toronto Maple Leafs have five other Americans on their roster who have all represented Team USA, including four U.S. National Junior Team alumni in Connor Carrick (2014), Jake Gardiner (2010 - gold), Matt Hunwick (2004 - gold, 2005) and James van Riemsdyk (2007-bronze medal, 2008, 2009). At the 2008 WJC, Van Riemsdyk led the tournament with 11 points (5-6) and was named to the All-Star Team. In addition, Ben Smith won a bronze medal with the 2015 U.S. Men’s National Team. The Leafs take on the Detroit Red Wings in tomorrow’s NHL Centennial Classic here in Toronto ... Yesterday, high performance coach and retired U.S. Marine Lt. Col., Sean Braziel (Burke, Va.) joined Team USA in Toronto and will remain with Team USA for the rest of the tournament ... The Hockey Hall of Fame here in Toronto features two direct ties to the 2017 U.S. National Junior Team: the catching glove Tyler Parsons (Chesterfield, Mich./London Knights) used in his Memorial Cup-winning season last year with the London Knights, as well as the Professional Hockey Athletic Trainers Society induction plaque of Team USA’s athletic trainer, Stan Wong (Boca Raton, Fla./USA Hockey), who was inducted last year.