Americans Win Group B in New Years Eve Classic Against Canada

Americans Win Group B in New Years Eve Classic Against Canada

Steven Ellis31 Dec 2016Steven Ellis»
 

The undefeated United States of America have won Group B at the World Junior Hockey Championships in Montreal thanks to a 3-1 victory on Saturday afternoon.

 
 
 
 

The undefeated United States of America have won Group B at the World Junior Hockey Championships in Montreal thanks to a 3-1 victory on Saturday afternoon.

An unpopular penalty call against the Canadians allowed the Americans to grab the 1-0 lead. At 4:31, with Tyson Jost in the box for goaltender interference after losing his balance with the puck, Jordan Greenway fed Colin White in the slot, who had a very open lane to do his business. He had no issue whatsoever getting the puck past Connor Ingram, firing a one-hander blocker side on the WHL star goalie to make it 1-0.

Then, with 13:56 left to go in the first, the Americans scored again on the PP. This time, Greenway would do all the work himself, escaping from the corner and jamming the puck past Ingram in an almost undetected matter, giving USA the 2-0 lead early in the contest.

The Americans would be put in a tough situation after losing their captain during the second. Luke Kunin would be ejected from the contest after charging Phillip Myers, giving Canada the extended power play advantage. Canada struggled in the first part of their opportunity, but at 28:12, Thomas Chabot picked up the rebound at the left circle off of a Matt Barzal shot and fired it past Joseph Woll’s blocker, putting Canada on the board for the first time.

With 6:52 left in the period, Jeremy Bracco gave the Americans their two-goal lead back. Ryan Lindgren would shoot the puck towards the net, but Bracco, a Toronto Maple Leafs prospect, was there to retrieve it. He found just enough space to the left of the net to fire it home on the ice, beating Ingram to make it 3-1 USA.

The pace was furious, but the shot totals were not. After 50 minutes of play in the game, the shots were just 20-19 for Canada, which wasn’t indicative of the action on the ice. Canada had their chances in the third, but a late penalty to Pierre-Luc Dubois would stop any chance of the hosts from catching up in a 3-1 loss to their rivals from down south.

With the win, the United States will finish on top of Group B, meaning they'll play either Denmark, Switzerland or the Czech Republic in Toronto on Monday in quarter-final action. Canada will head out to Toronto as the second place team, with their opponent to be determined tonight. 

Follow me on Twitter, @StevenEllisNHL.

Photo from Anders Marshall/EuroHockey.com

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