Today the United States U20 Team entered the contest in a must win or go home situation. In addition, they also came into the contest ridding a two game loosing skid over the Russians and the Canadians.
At 4:05 of the opener, Team USA forward Cole Bardreau went into the Slovakian’s zone and roofed it to put the United States up early in the first. The goal scored by Bardreau made it his first of the tournament with assists from Ryan Hartman and goaltender John Gibson. 15 seconds following the goal by Bardreau, Slovakian Matus Matis had a breakaway of his own as he put the rubber past Gibson to knot the game at 1-1. Matis added his second goal of the World Juniors with the lone assist to Milan Kalena.
Less than a minute later, US Jake McCabe put the United States back on top as he put a nice backhander through the slot past Slovakian’s goal tender to make it 2-1 USA. McCabe scored his first of tournament with assists from Jim Vessey and J.T. Miller at the 5:10 mark of the first period.
Moments later, Johnny Gaudreau with a nearly identical goal as McCabe made it 3-1 USA with 11 left in 1st. Shortly after the third goal by team USA, Slovakia’s coach made a goaltender change to try and stop the bleeding by the United States. Johnny Gaurdreau scored his first goal of the game and added his first of the tournament and assisted by Shayne Gostisbehere and Jim Vessey.
At 11:46 of the first, a sloppy play around Slovakia’s net lead to another goal for United States when Mike Reilly put the puck in the backdoor to make it 4-1 United States. His goal, would be his first of the World Juniors with assists from Jim Vessey and J.T. Miller.
In the US’s zone, Slovakia’s Marko Dano tripped up a United States player to put the team USA on the power play. While on the man advantage, it did not take long for the United States to make the Slovakian team pay for their mistake as Jacob Trouba stuffed the puck over the goal line to put USA up by four goals to make it 5-1 United States. Trouba’s goal, made it his fourth of the tournament with assists from San Jose Sharks prospect Sean Kuraly and Montreal Canadians prospect Alex Galchenyuk at 13:50 of the first frame.
With less than four minutes left of the first period, Shayne Gostisbehere took undisciplined penalty as he was charged for spearing. He was given a five minute major and an additional 20 minutes for a game misconduct. While being up a man, team Slovakia would cut into the United States lead in net mouth scramble as Richard Mraz pumped it home over Gibson to make it 5-2 USA. Mraz goal, was he second of the tournament with assists from both Ceresnak and Nechala.
As the first frame came to a close, the Slovakian National Team would go into the first intermission with plenty of power play carry over time for the second period. As for the shot clock, team USA edged out the Slovakian’s with an 18-13 shot advantage.
As the Slovakian’s entered into the second stanza, they continued with their carry over power play time that was awarded to them from the first. They would however not convert on the rest of the power play as the score remained 5-2 USA. Shortly after the American’s killed of the remainder of Gostisbehere’s spearing major from the first, the Slovakian’s Matus Matis took a holding penalty at the 3:08 mark of the second.
With the American’s on the man advantage, team USA took advantage as John Gaudreau with slick backhander under blocker side of Patrik Romancik and scored his second goal of the game to give the United States their four cushion back as it made it 6-2 for the Americans. Gaudreau goal was assisted by Jake McCabe and Vince Trocheck. After the goal by Gaudreau, Slovakia’s Marko Dano took a roughing minor, giving the Americans the opportunity to add to their lead.
Not long after Dano’s penalty, Gaudreau’s sent great pass through the slot to Vince Trocheck and earned him the power play goal to make it 7-2 USA with 13 minutes left in the 2nd. Trocheck’s goal was assisted by Gaudreau.
After Trocheck’s tally, team USA took back to back penalties within 15 seconds apart from each other to put the Slovakian’s up two men. As the United States pk went to work, they stepped up big to stop the Slovakians and successfully killed off both penalties.
Moments later after team USA killed of their five on three penalty situation, Trocheck scored his 2nd goal of game shortly after with 9:41 to go in the 2nd period. Vince Trocheck’s tally was assisted by Tyler Biggs and Mario Lucia to increase the United States distant to make it a 8-2 lead.
Following Trocheck’s second tally of the contest, Andrej Bires of Slovakia would go off to sin bin for tripping. After that minor was called, team USA would get back to back penalties to J.T. Miller for slashing and Tyler Biggs for holding. Thus putting the Slovakians back on a their second five on three power play of the game and the second period. The good news for the American’s is that killed the five on three to preserve their six goal lead over the Slovakia.
Thru 40 minutes of play, team USA held an nine shot on goal advantage over the Slovakian’s at 30-21 United States.
Within the first minute of the final period Emil Bagin of the Slovakian team, kneed San Jose Sharks prospect Sean Kuraly as he attempted to thread the needle into the Slovak’s end. As the American’s were on the man advantage, team USA failed to convert as the score remained 8-2 United States.
Less than four minutes later, Milan Kelana was caught for charging United States Trocheck, thus putting team USA power play team back to work. Much like the previous man advantage for the United States they would come up short.
At 9:21 of the third period, Matus Matis put the puck past Gibson to make it 8-3 United States. After the third goal for the Slovakian’s, Marko Dano was caught slashing team USA’s defenseman Seth Jones as the penalties of the contest kept coming. The good news for the Slovakian’s was team USA would not convert on the man advantage.
With 5:04 remaining of the final frame, the penalty parade would continue as Jacob Trouba would go off for tripping. Not long after team USA was charged with a minor penalty, Slovakia’s Matus Matis was caught for roughing and was assessed with a game misconduct, thus putting each team at four skaters aside for the first time of the contest. However that did not last long as Marko Dano of Slovakia was caught for cross-checking. On the four on three for the United States, Galchenyuk made it 9-3 USA with a backdoor pass on the PP.
As the game winded down, Seth Jones of the United States, took a penalty that really did not need to take place as the Slovak’s would eventually not convert on the power play.
At the end of the game, Cole Bardreau was named Player of the Game for team USA.
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