COLD LAKE, Alta. - The U.S. Junior Select Team defeated Canada East, 3-1, Friday night in a pre-tournament game at Cold Lake Energy Centre in Cold Lake, Alberta, ahead of the 2018 World Junior A Challenge.
Bobby Brink (Minnetonka, Minn.) opened the scoring for the U.S. 7:36 into the first period after picking the pocket of a Canadian defenseman and finishing a pass from Robert Mastrosimone (East Islip, N.Y) to put Team USA up by one.
Canada East answered 4:54 later with a power-play goal from Owen Cole with 7:30 remaining in the first period.
Team USA scored on the power play with 1:49 remaining in the first period when Connor Caponi (Brookfield, Wis.) gained position in front of the Canadian net and tipped home a shot from Travis Mitchell (South Lyon, Mich.) to put the U.S. up 2-1.
The second period offered plenty of action, but the goaltenders were strong between the pipes and the period concluded with the U.S. leading 2-1.
Team USA opened the third period with plenty of energy and jumped on the Canadians just 4:02 into the frame when Mastrosimone fired a shot past Jack Watson to put the U.S. up 3-1.
Team USA closed out the final stanza with a strong defensive effort to defeat the Canadians, 3-1, in its final tune-up before World Junior A Challenge tournament play.
U.S. goaltenders Isaiah Saville (Anchorage, Alaska) and Blake Pietila (Howell, Mich.) split time, stopping 24 of 25 Canadian shots on goal.
NOTES: Saville stopped 15 of 16 shots while Pietila stopped all nine attempts in the victory ... Mastrosimone led all U.S. skaters with two points (1-1-2) ... Team USA opens tournament play against Canada West on Sunday, Dec. 9 ... Team USA has won four of the last six World Junior A Challenges.