Despite a bad start, the Americans came back to prove that they want to end a 2 year Medal Drought in the WJC with a 7-3 win over the Slovaks who are looking prove that last year's 4th place finish was no fluke.
Press Release from USA Hockey!
Saskatoon, Saskatchewan: Team USA overcame an early two goal deficit and defeated Slovakia by a count of 7-3 here tonight in its first game at the 2010 International Ice Hockey Federation World Junior Championship.
"I was happy with our resiliency after falling behind early," said Dean Blais, head coach of the U.S. National Junior Team. "We created a lot of scoring chances, and showed a lot of poise after those two quick goals.
Slovakia est. a 2-0 lead just more then 5 minutes into the contest with a pair of power play goals.
Team USA Cut the Slovakia lead in half midway through the period when John Carlson fired a slap shot through the traffic and past goalie Marek Ciliak. Then just, two minutes into the 2nd period, Jeremy Morin knotted the score at 2-2 when he drove to the net, collected his own rebound and fired a shot over Ciliak's glove.
U.S. captain Derek Stepan gave Team USA the lead when he fired a shot from the slot past Ciliak five minutes into the middle frame. The U.S. took a 4-2 lead when Matt Donovan shot from the high slot found the back of the net.
Following a Slovakia power play goal, Danny Kristo restored Team USA's two goal lead heading into the 3rd period when he buried a post to post pass from Stepan.
Jordan Schroeder extended Team USA's advantage to 6-3, chipping a centering pass from Kyle Palmieri over Ciliak blocker less then a minute into the 3rd period. Jerry D'Amigo who was named Team USA's player of the game, completed the night's scoring on a give and go play with Kristo.
Team USA's goalie Mike Lee turned aside 17 shots in the win, while Ciliak stopped 39 saves in the losing effort.
Next action for Team USA comes tomorrow (Dec. 27) at 3 PM CST against Switzerland. The game can be seen live in the U.S.A. on the NHL Network. It will also be streamed live in the U.S. on the website www.fasthockey.com
NOTES: Team USA won it's first game of the World Junior Championship for the third straight year and the sixth time in 7 years. The 2010 IIHF World Junior Championships runs Dec. 26 thru Jan. 5 in Regina and Saskatoon, Sask. For Team USA's full schedule, click Here. The NHL Network and fasthockey.com will air every U.S.A. Game live from Saskatoon. For Complete Results and stats from the World Juniors, visit www.iihf.com For Full coverage of the 2010 U.S. National Junior Team, including photos, video and features, click here.
Score by Period
U.S.A. 7 Slovakia 3 (1-2, 4-1, 2-0)
1st Period: Scoring: 1, SVK Gasparovic (Illo) 2:15 (PP); 2, SVK Bakos (Illo, Marincin), 5:33 (PP); 3, USA, Carlson (Stepan), 9:34
2nd Period: Scoring: 4, USA, Morin (Unassisted), 2:50; 5, D'Amigo (Carlson, Stefan), 5:39, 6, USA, Donovan (Kreider, Fowler), 6:36 (PP); 7, SVK, Panik (Siska, Viedensky), 13:14 (PP), 8 USA, Kristo (Stepan, D'Amigo), 13:54
3rd Period: Scoring: 9, USA, Schroeder (Palmieri), 0:58; 10, USA, D'Amigo (Kristo), 6:34
Shots on Goal
USA 11-16-19 46
Slovakia 9-7-4 20
USA, Lee 9-7, 7-6, 4-4 20-17
SVK, Ciliak 11-10, 16-12, 19-17 46-39
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