Wednesday, January 6, 2010


Despite giving up a two-goal lead late in the third period for the second time in a week against Canada, the United States U-20 junior team won the World Junior Championships Tuesday night 6-5 in overtime. John Carlson's (Washington Capitals) goal 4:31 into the overtime session gave the US its second goal medal (2004 was the other).

After spotting Canada an early 1-0 lead before a partisan crowd, the US tied the score on a goal by Chris Kreider (Boston College). Jordan Schroeder (U. of Minnesota) added a second tally a half minute later, only to be matched by Canada to carry a 2-2 game into the first intermission.

Carlson's power play tally 1:03 into the second stanza made it 3-2, but Canada answered again with a tally nearly three minutes later to tie the score at three. There would be no further scoring in the second frame. In the third, Jerry D'Amigo (RPI) scored to go-ahead goal four minutes into the period, and Derek Stepan (U. of Wisconsin) followed that one up to give the US a familiar two-goal lead. Canada's Jordan Eberle scored twice for Canada down the stretch to tie the score at five and send the game into overtime.

In OT, the US had a rare 3:1 rush early in the session, and Carlson broke for the net on the wing and snapped home the game-winner.

Mike Lee (St. Cloud State) started the game and was relieved by Jack Campbell (USNDTP) in the second period after allowing three goals on seven shots. Campbell stopped 32 of 34 the rest of the way.

Stepan led all tournament scorers with 14 points (4-10-14) and 10 assists, and D'Amigo finished third in overall scoring (6-6-12).

It was quite a tournament for the US. The only loss came via a shootout, and the team had blown a late two-goal lead in that game as well. The US team had an abundance of talent and contains several which will soon grace NHL ice surfaces. However, coach Dean Blais molded this team carefully through the selection process to beat a supremely-talented Canadian team, and he achieved the ultimate success: winning the WJCs against the defending champions on their home ice.

The only thing that feels better about the US winning an international competition against Canada is doing so on Canadian ice. It kind of avenges 2002's Canadian Olympic gold medal on Salt Lake City ice - well, almost. The 2011 WJCs are in Buffalo, NY, so the Canadians will get an opportunity for revenge on American soil.

Congrats, Coach Blais, and all the players on a tremendous accomplishment.

1 comment:

  1. This just improves Blais' contract chances with the Gophers job next year!