After the games first commercial break, Canada opened the scoring as Ryan Nugent-Hopskins fired the puck from the point past Gibson to put team Canada up early. The goal scored by Ryan Nugent-Hopskins was his third of the tournament with assists from Jonathan Huberdeau who added his fourth of the WJC and Mark Schiefele with his second of the tournament at 7:13 of the first period.
At 10:10 of the first, Canada went in on a three on one into USA’s zone when goaltender John Gibson made a huge save to keep it a 1-0 Canada lead. Later in the opening period, team USA would get the games first penalty as Riley Barber would go off to the penalty box for slashing. On the man advantage for team Canada, they would fail to convert as the score remained 1-0.
With 5:16 remaining in the first period, Ryan Strome with the tip in shot on the doorstep put it past Gibson for Canada and added the second goal of the game to make 2-0. Strome, would add his fourth goal of the tournament with the assists coming from Brett Ritchie and Anthony Camara. Ritchie, added his third assist of the World Juniors and Camara, tallied his second the tournament. With less than two minutes remaining of the period Canada’s Ryan Strome would go off for slashing. As the period came to a close, team USA would take into the first intermission with some carryover power play time.
After 20 minutes, Canada leads the US 2-0 as the Canadian team leads on the shot clock with 11-10 advantage.
As the Americans entered the middle frame, they continued the remainder of their power play time but they would encounter some push back and the Canadian National team denied team USA from cutting into their two goal lead. At the 6:52 mark of the second stanza Griffin Reinhart of Canada was charged with a double minor high sticking infraction, putting team US on a very important power play opportunity. As the power play went on, the United States would put shots on net but Canada’s net minder Malcolm Subban brother of Montreal Canadians defenseman P.K. Subban made the key saves protecting his shutout bid of the contest. Less than six minutes later, US defenseman Seth Jones was called for slashing, thus making it the third overall slashing minor between the two clubs. However, the Canadians would not convert as the score remained 2-0 for Team Canada.
At the end of forty minutes of play, team USA overtook Canada on the shot clock with a 25-19 margin.
At 7:35 of the final period, team Canada’s goaltender Malcolm took an unnecessary tripping penalty, thus making it their fourth penalty of the contest. Much like their previous power play opportunities, the Americans would come up short again as Canada’s pk unit remained perfect.
Following the completion of the penalty kill for Canada, they would get caught for a delay of game infraction, putting the United States back on the man advantage. On their fifth power play opportunity team USA finally broke thru as Subban’s shutout bid ended when Jacob Trouba put the rubber past the Canadians net minder. The goal that Trouba scored, was his third of the World Juniors, with the assists from Alex Galchenyuk who added his fourth and Mike Reilly with his first of the tournament.
Minutes later, Jake McCabe of the United States would get two penalties, the first for misconduct and the second for an illegal check to the head 12:06 of the final frame. Over a minute later, team USA would get another penalty as Tyler Biggs was caught for interference. The good news for the Americans was they killed off both penalties to keep it a 1 goal Canada lead.
Shortly after their huge penalty kill, team USA would march back to the sin bin as Jacob Trouba was caught for interference. Furthermore, the Americans penalty parade continued as they were assessed with another illegal check to the head minor plus a game misconduct to Ryan Hartman putting their rivals up two men. As the Canadian National team up two men, the Americans would get sloppy as Vince Trocheck would get assessed with a cross checking minor. With the United States being shorthanded again, they came up huge in the special teams department to keep the score tight.
With all these penalties that the US were assessed they finally caught a break as Jonathan Huberdeau of Canada would get the games fourth slashing minor. As the Americans sixth power play opportunity they came up just short to tie the game as their rivals from the north stepped up to protect their 2-1 lead.
Immediately after the successful penalty kill by Canada, their team captain, Ryan Nugent-Hopskins would take a foolish boarding penalty to allow the United States another attempt to tie it up at 2. However, that was not the case as team Canada would close out the contest at a final score of 2-1.
As the game ended, team USA held on to their lead on the shot clock by a 37-32 total. For San Jose Sharks fans, prospect Sean Kuraly was scoreless of the contest .
With today’s loss to their North American rivals, the United States will have to come up big in their next contest against the Slovakian’s on New Years Eve to get out of prelims and into the quarterfinal round of the tournament.
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