Canada Black comes from behind to stop USA

Steven Ellis06 Nov 2018Steven Ellis»

The United States find themselves in a tough position heading into the quarter-finals of the World Under-17 Hockey Challenge, losing to Canada Black 5-4 in a comeback effort for the eventual victors.


The United States find themselves in a tough position heading into the quarter-finals of the World Under-17 Hockey Challenge, losing to Canada Black 5-4 in a comeback effort for the eventual victors. 

The Americans wanted a good start after a poor 5-2 loss to Canada White on Monday evening. The defending champions wasted no time scoring early on Tuesday, with Tanner Latsch picking up the puck after Thomas Bordeleau did most of the work to dance around the defenders. Latsch grabbed the puck after a mini-scramble in front and beat Joe Vrbetic after the Canadian goaltender moved too slowly to cover the left post, giving USA the lead after 38 seconds of play.

At 7:52, the Americans scored again. This time, Latsch helped force a turnover by Canadian captain Jamie Drysdale, and a series of events allowed Brock Faber to find Blake Blondi in front. Blondi quickly knocked the puck past Vrbetic, giving USA the 2-0 lead.

Canada's first period effort was their worst of the tournament, so they needed a quick one in the second to turn things around in the second. At 4:01, Kyle Crnkovic forced a turnover by Connor Kelley in the neutral zone, blasting into the zone with a lot of momentum before sliding the puck between the legs of Drew Commesso to make it 2-1.

Shortly after, Canada tied it up. Canada's fourth line would strike again, with the fourth line once again connecting. At 7:29, Jack Finley took a pass from Crnkovic near the side of the net. Finley then backhanded the pass to Jack Finley, who made a smooth deke in front of Commesso to make it 2-2.

But Canada wasn't done. A minute later, Quinton Byfield made a spectacular play to put Canada ahead by one. The top draft pick at the recent OHL draft, the Sudbury Wolves star would win a battle along the boards and would use his speed to put himself in a good position going down the ice. Byfield would then use his strong release to beat Commesso up high, giving Canada the 3-2 advantage.

Canada wasn't done. Just a minute after knocking the net off and preventing Byfield from getting his second goal, Will Cuylle made up for it. After a bit of a kerfuffle in the neutral zone, Cuylle received the pass from Pier-Olivier Roy and wired a slap shot from the slot on the breakaway at 18:14, putting an end to USA's terrible period.

But the Americans brought themselves back within one in the third. Landon Slaggert would get USA back on the scoresheet after Blake Biondi set him up in front of Vrbetic, giving American fans something to cheer about after a terrible stretch of hockey. At 17:45, USA tied the game up at four after Eamon Powell scored on the power play off of a Thomas Bordeleau feed, putting his team back in the game after a strong few minutes for the Americans.

But with 1:31 left in the game, Ryan O'Rourke, who scored the game-winning goal for Canada Black yesterday against the Czech Republic, made it 5-4 with a hard shot from far out, getting back in lead for good this time.

The win for Team Canada Black propells themselves to the top of Canada Black, with Canada White still able to take over with a win over the Czech Republic later today.

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