Americans Win WJC Gold

Americans Win WJC Gold

Steven Ellis06 Jan 2017Steven Ellis»
 

In what can only be described as one of the greatest hockey games ever at the World Juniors, the United States of America have won the 2017 World Junior Hockey Championships thanks to a 5-4 shootout victory on Thursday.

 
 
 
 

In what can only be described as one of the greatest hockey games ever at the World Juniors, the United States of America have won the 2017 World Junior Hockey Championships thanks to a 5-4 shootout victory on Thursday.

One of the best players in the entire tournament, Thomas Chabot, put up the first goal of the game. At 4:58, Matt Barzal and Mathieu Joseph made a good passing play up the ice, with Barzal sending the final pass. The puck bounced over the stick of Joseph and on to Chabot's stick, with the Ottawa Senators prospect picking a spot on the open net to give Canada the 1-0 lead early.

With 10:58 left in the first, the Canadians made it 2-0. Jeremy Lauzon, who started as the seventh defenseman for Canada but has played well since QMJHL teammate Phil Myers had to leave the tournament with a concussion, gave Canada the bigger leader after Adam Fox failed to get the puck out of the zone and handed it right to Lauzon. Lauzon waited until he could find an opening and sent the hard wrist shot past Tyler Parsons, giving the Canadians the 2-0 lead.

At 3:04 in the second, the Americans put an end to Carter Hart's shutout. Charlie McAvoy would make it 2-1 after taking Jordan Greenway's pass in the high slot and firing a hard wrist shot over Hart's glove hand, cutting the lead in half with almost two-thirds of the contest still left to play.

The United States put together a tremendous second period and it resulted in tying the game up at two. At 29:30, with the Canadians down a man after taking a too-many-men penalty, Adam Fox's shot from the point was tipped in by Kieffer Bellows in front of the net, knotting the game up at two in what was turning into a very entertaining hockey game.

Canada's power play left much to desire throughout the tournament, but at 1:52 in the third period, it didn't matter anymore. With Bellows in the box, Nicholas Roy put Canada back in the lead with a wrist shot that very few goaltenders would be able to stop, beating Parsons over the blocker to make it 3-2 Canada.

Canada would then make it 4-2 with a beautiful goal by Joseph, who left the game momentarily after getting kneed by Bellows. On his first shift back on the ice, Joseph stole the puck in the neutral zone and beat two American defenders on the rush, beating Parsons on the blocker side again to make it 4-2 Canada.

 But then the culprit of Joseph's earlier injury, Bellows, would put up his second goal of the game. Just seconds later, Bellows would pick up the pass in the slot and sent the Charlie McAvoy feed into the back of the net, bringing the Americans within a goal with three-quarters of the frame still left to be played.

Then, at 47:07, USA tied it all up again. Fox would get another point after his shot from the blue line was redirected at the side of the net by Colin White, who scored his seventh goal in seven games to make it 4-4 in one of the best World Junior games in recent years.

Just like in 2010 when these two teams last met for gold, the game would require extra time to decide the 2017 World Junior Champions. It was some of the most intense, unbelievable hockey any fans have ever witnessed. The Americans scored the only goal in the skills competition, with Troy Terry, the player who scored three goals in the shootout against the Russians on Wednesday, beat Hart five-hole for the only goal of the shootout, giving the Americans the victory and the 2017 World Junior Championship in the process.

Follow me on Twitter, @StevenEllisNHL.

Photo from Anders Marshall/EuroHockey.com.

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