MONTREAL – Troy Terry (Highlands Ranch, Colo./University of Denver) netted three shootout goals, including the game-winner in the seventh round, to lead the U.S. National Junior Team past Russia, 4-3, in the semifinals of the 2017 International Ice Hockey Federation World Junior Championship. Team USA will play in the gold medal-game tomorrow (Jan. 5) at the Bell Centre in Montreal against Canada. Puck drop is set for 8 p.m. ET and the game will be televised live on NHL Network.
“I’m so happy for our guys and the fight that they showed here tonight,” said Bob Motzko (St. Cloud, Minn./St. Cloud State University), head coach of the 2017 U.S. National Junior Team. “That was a tremendous game to be a part of. We'll enjoy this for a little, but our guys know the mission isn’t over. It's exciting to know we have a chance at the gold medal tomorrow.”
Russia opened the scoring with 8:06 remaining in the opening frame when Kirill Kaprizov’s wraparound attempt slid past Tyler Parsons (Chesterfield, Mich./London Knights).
Team USA evened the score with 55 seconds remaining when Clayton Keller (St. Louis, Mo./Boston University) fired an odd-angled shot just below the left circle that deflected off Colin White’s (Hanover, Mass./Boston College) leg and past Russian goaltender Ilya Samsonov.
Denis Guryanov gave Russia a 2-1 lead just 1:17 into the second stanza when he found a rebound off an initial save from Parsons.
After Parsons made a pair of point-blank stops to keep it a one-goal contest, Team USA tied the game on a power play goal by captain Luke Kunin (Chesterfield, Mo./University of Wisconsin) with 9:37 left in the stanza. The play started when Jordan Greenway (Canton, N.Y./Boston University) fired a pass in front of the net for Kunin, who redirected the puck just below the crossbar for the score.
White’s second goal of the game with 3:39 left in the middle frame gave the U.S. its first lead of the game. White took a shot from the left faceoff dot that deflected off a Russian defender and past Samsonov for his team-leading sixth goal of the tournament.
The U.S. nearly extended its lead when Keller was awarded a penalty shot with 14:46 to play, but his backhand attempt was gloved by Samsonov. Just 50 seconds later, Guryanov evened the score for Russia when he tallied on a breakaway.
Both teams traded chances, but neither could net the game-winner in the final 13:56 of regulation and through ten minutes of four-on-four overtime action.
Team USA’s two best chances in the extra frame came from Joey Anderson (Roseville, Minn./University of Minnesota-Duluth). Moments after he rang a shot from the top of the right circle off the crossbar, a loose puck in front of goal landed on his stick but Samsonov was there to make the save.
In the initial five-round shootout, both Terry and Jeremy Bracco (Freeport, N.Y./Kitchener Rangers) scored while Parsons made three saves to keep the shootout score tied, 2-2. In the extra rounds, Parsons made two saves and Terry scored twice to secure the win.
Parsons finished with 33 saves to earn his fourth victory of the tournament.
NOTES: Tyler Parsons was named U.S. Player of the Game … Team USA outshot Russia, 44-36 while finishing 1-for-4 on the power play and 1-for-1 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. 2||Switzerland||W, 3-2||Quarterfinals||Toronto, Ont.|
|Jan. 4||Russia||W, 4-3 (SO)||Semifinals||Montreal, Que.|
|Jan. 5||Canada||8:00 p.m.||Gold Medal||Montreal, Que.|
THE SERIES VS. RUSSIA
Last Thursday (Dec. 29), the U.S. topped Russia, 3-2, in a preliminary round tilt at the Air Canada Centre in Toronto. Clayton Keller (St. Louis, Mo./Boston University) tallied two points (1-1) and Tyler Parsons (Chesterfield, Mich./London Knights) made 25 saves in the win. Troy Terry, who scored the game-winning goal, was named the U.S. Player of the Game.
The victory ended a five-game losing streak to Russia in tournament play, which included three-straight playoff round meetings and one bronze medal-game. Team USA has never beaten Russia in the playoff round (0-7) and trails the all-time series 6-0-0-12-0 (W-OTW-OTL-L).
TEAM USA IN SEMIFINAL PLAY
All-time, Team USA holds a 4-0-1-7 (W-OTW-OTL-L) record. Last year, Team USA scored the game’s opening goal but fell to Russia by a 2-1 count.
LAST YEAR’S LOSS NOT FORGOTTEN
Team USA’s alternate captains Charlie McAvoy (Long Beach, N.Y.) and Colin White (Hanover, Mass.) were both members of last year’s U.S. National Junior Team that fell to Russia in the semifinals.
“Coach keeps telling us the most important game is the one we’re in, so we won’t put too much thought into either last year’s loss or this year’s win,” said McAvoy. “We know what we’re capable of if we play our style of hockey. We’ll focus on ourselves and make sure we play our best.”
“We beat them already, so we know they’re going to come out hard,” said White. “But just having in the back of our minds that they beat us last year in the semifinals is going to be a little edge for us. McAvoy was there too, so we just gotta tell the guys what it’s like, block out distractions and things like that.”
WINNING PEDIGREES ON TEAM USA
Between the players and staff of Team USA, 24 individuals have been on championship-winning teams both at the club and international level.
Last year, Jack Ahcan helped the Cedar Rapids RoughRiders claim the USHL’s Anderson Cup while Tyler Parsons backstopped the London Knights to the OHL’s J. Ross Robertson Cup and CHL’s Memorial Cup. In 2014-15, Kieffer Bellows led the Sioux Falls Stampede to a USHL Clark Cup championship.
Internationally, Jeremy Bracco, Casey Fitzgerald, Jordan Greenway, Caleb Jones, Clayton Keller, Luke Kunin, Charlie McAvoy, Jake Oettinger, Jack Roslovic, Troy Terry, Tage Thompson and Colin White helped Team USA claim the 2015 IIHF Under-18 Men’s World Championship. In the championship game against Finland, White scored the overtime game-winning goal with assists from Bracco and McAvoy.
The U.S. coaches and support staff also has an extensive winning pedigree. All four coaches have been part of NCAA championship teams, including head coach Bob Motzko (Minnesota - 2002, 2003), assistant coach Greg Brown (Boston College - 2008, 2010, 2012), Grant Potulny (Minnesota - 2002, 2003), Kris Mayotte (Providence College 2015) and Steve Miller (Denver - 2004, 2005).
Internationally, general manager Jim Johannson has been a part of all three gold medal-winning U.S. National Junior Teams (2004, 2010, 2013). Potulny served as an assistant coach on Team USA’s gold medal-winning 2013 U.S. National Junior Team while that year’s U.S. staff also included current Team USA equipment manager Scott Aldrich; athletic trainers Jason Hodges and Stan Wong and team physician Dr. Phil Johnson. Wong was a part of Team USA’s other two gold medal-winning teams (2004, 2010) while Johnson was with the team in 2010