Canada bests USA at WJC
On Sunday morning, Canada beat Team USA, 2-1, in the preliminary round of the IIHF World Junior Championships in Ufa, Russia. Canada will now advance to the first playoff round on New Year’s Eve.
The game between the two North American teams was slated to be one of the most challenging of the tournament for both teams so far. Each team faced a different road heading into the game. Team USA ran into a tough opponent when they faced Russia while Canada breezed past Slovakia on Friday. This was the second loss in a row for the Americans, who lost to Russia on Saturday. The Americans must win their next game against Slovakia if they plan on advancing to the medal round.
Canada netted their two goals in the first period thanks to Oilers star Ryan Nugent-Hopkins and Islanders draft pick Ryan Strome. For Team USA, Winnipeg Jets prospect Jacob Trouba scored the only goal near the end of the third period. Bruins prospect Malcom Subban, Canada’s goaltender, also proved a big challenge for Team USA, making 36 saves.
USA coach Phil Housley said he was disappointed in the team’s play, noting that they need to spend less time in the penalty box. The team took two 10-minute misconducts in the final 10 minutes.
“We had our opportunities to tie or win the game, we have to eliminate our mistakes, and that includes penalties,” Housley said.
The Americans will have one more chance to make it into the playoff round when they play Slovakia on Monday. If they lose, they will enter the relegation round for the second year in a row.