Friday, January 2, 2015

U.S. Eliminated from WJC in Canada

For the second year in a row, the United States is one and done in the elimination stage at the IIHF World Junior Championships.

The Americans fell, 3-2, to Russia on Friday afternoon in a quarterfinal-round match at the Bell Centre in Montreal. The U.S. fought back from a 2-0 deficit after 20 minutes of play when Anthony DeAngelo scored the first U.S. goal on a 5-on-3 power play in the second period.

After Russia, which scored two power-play goals on the day, took a 3-1 lead in the third stanza, Zach Werenski (Michigan) scored the final American goal of the tournament. Thatcher Demko (Boston College) finished with 22 saves for the Americans and was pulled for an extra attacker in the final 90 seconds of regulation, but the U.S. could not come up with the tying goal despite outshooting Russia, 41-25, overall.

It marks the second straight year that Team USA failed to medal at the WJC, and the second straight tournament that the Americans were eliminated by Russia. According to the IIHF web site, the U.S. has not beaten Russia in the WJC since Dec. 2007.

Two years ago, the U.S. rode the scoring of Johnny Gaudreau and the goaltending of John Gibson to gold in Ufa, Russia. Three years prior to that, it was current Washington Capitals defenseman John Carlson scoring the gold-medal winner in overtime against Canada in Saskatchewan. The U.S also garnered a bronze medal in 2011 in Buffalo.

Russia will now play the winner of Sweden and Finland, a rematch of last year's gold medal game that was won by Finland in Malmo, Sweden.

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