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Team USA Falls in Shootout, 2-1, to Canada West in World Junior A Challenge Opener

By USA Hockey, 12/09/18, 8:00PM EST


Ness scores shorthanded for Team USA

BONNYVILLE, Alberta — The United States Junior Select Team opened tournament play Sunday night at the 2018 World Junior A Challenge with a 2-1 shootout loss against Canada West at R.J. Lalonde Arena. 

"I thought it was a good first game," said Anthony Noreen, U.S. Junior Select Team head coach. "I love the way we stuck together and competed. We'll watch the film, correct our mistakes and be better on Tuesday."

The U.S. Junior Select Team (0-0-1-0/W-OTW-OTL-L) will continue preliminary round play Tuesday (Dec. 11) when it takes on the Czech Republic. Puck drop is set for 7 p.m. local time/9 p.m. ET and the game will be streamed live on HockeyTV

The U.S. opened the contest with plenty of energy, skating hard and outshooting the Canadians 11-7, but both goaltenders stood strong and neither team could find the back of the net in the first period.

The second stanza saw more of the same from both goaltenders as Isaiah Saville (Anchorage, Alaska) made nine saves for the U.S. and Matthew Davis made seven saves on as many shots for Canada West.

After a slashing penalty 3:48 into the third period sent Canada West to the power play, Grant Silianoff (Edina, Minn.) collected the puck in the neutral zone and fed a pass to Griffin Ness (Wayzata, Minn.), who skated in on a shorthanded breakaway and went to the backhand to beat Davis and put the U.S. up by one.

Canada West answered just 3:41 later when Ethan Leyh skated into the U.S. zone and fired a shot from the slot that beat Saville and tied the game at one. 

After outshooting Canada West 21-7 in the third period, Team USA could not find the back of the net and the teams advanced to a three-on-three overtime period. Both teams recorded three shots in overtime, but the goaltenders continued to stand strong and the game advanced to a shootout.

Canada West opened the shootout with Massimo Rizzo who beat Saville to give the Canadians the 1-0 lead. The U.S. countered with Matt Brown (Wood-Ridge, N.J.) who streaked in and fired a wrist shot off the right post.

After Saville stopped Alex Newhook with the left pad, Team USA's Bobby Brink (Minnetonka, Minn.) beat Davis on the glove side with a wrist shot, but was denied by the opposite goal post.

The two goaltenders would go back and forth with five consecutive saves before Ness beat Davis with a rising backhander over the glove to keep the U.S. alive.

Both teams failed to score in the sixth round before Newhook beat Saville with a wrist shot to seal the victory for Canada West.

Saville made 25 saves on 26 shots and stopped five of seven shots in the shootout.


Photo Gallery

NOTES: The U.S. outshot Canada West, 42-26 ... Saville was named the U.S. Player of the Game ... Click here for complete game statistics from tonight's game ...The World Junior A Challenge is in its 13th year, and the U.S. is competing for the 12th time ... The U.S. is competing against Canada East, Canada West, the Czech Republic and Russia in this year's tournament ... Team USA has captured the World Junior A Challenge title seven times (2008-10, 2012-14, 2016).

2018 WJAC

WJAC History

Date Opponent Venue Location Time (Local/ET)/Result Streaming Coverage
Fri., Dec. 7 Canada East* Cold Lake Energy Centre Cold Lake, Alta. W, 3-1 HockeyTV
Sun., Dec. 9 Canada West R.J. Lalonde Arena Bonnyville, Alta. SOL, 1-2 HockeyTV
Tues., Dec. 11 Czech Republic R.J. Lalonde Arena Bonnyville, Alta. W, 4-2 HockeyTV
Wed., Dec. 12 Canada East R.J. Lalonde Arena Bonnyville, Alta. W, 7-3 HockeyTV
Fri., Dec. 14 Russia R.J. Lalonde Arena Bonnyville, Alta. L, 3-4 HockeyTV
Sat., Dec. 15 Canada West (Semifinal) R.J. Lalonde Arena Bonnyville, Alta. OTW, 3-2 HockeyTV
Sun., Dec. 16 Russia (Championship) R.J. Lalonde Arena Bonnyville, Alta. W, 2-0 --