The game was great, as it often is, and had a little bit of everything, as it often does. Team USA finishes first in group A after a 3-1 win over Canada on Saturday on the strength of a dominant power play and great goaltending. It was the Americans’ first victory over Canada in their last seven world junior games on NYE. The (almost) yearly game between the two rival hockey nations has produced some memorable and weird moments to add to our holiday memory banks, and you should make room for a few more from today’s classic, too.
Jordan Greenway has good hands and a long reach. Minnesota Wild pick good near net. 2-0 ???????? https://t.co/iZgN61EJWH
— Bucci Mane (@Buccigross) December 31, 2016
USA’s Jordan Greenway had two power play points, including this goal, before Team Canada even had their first shot on goal. Less than two minutes after he assisted on Colin’s White’s opening goal, Greenway got the puck down low and slid it through the legs of Connor Ingram to put Team USA up 2-0. It was the Americans’ second powe rplay goal in a 1:33 span and it was the Red, Blue, and White’s dominant play with the man advantage that set the tone early.
White’s key shot block
With Team USA leading by one at the tail end of a 5-minute penalty kill, Dylan Strome found himself with a wide open net and the puck on his stick. White, who scored the game’s opening goal and has been a beast for Team USA so far, dove in front of the open cage and blocked the shot, which looked to be a sure goal. Jeremy Bracco scored just over three minutes later to restore the two-goal lead.
Team USA goaltender Joe Woll stood tall and turned aside 25 of 26 Team Canada shots, many of them high quality chances, as the Americans beat Canada despite being outshot and out-chanced. A key pad save off of Dylan Strome in the second period kept Team USA up by one and helped hold down the fort as Canada pressured relentlessly on the power play trying to tie the game. With Woll and goaltender Tyler Parsons splitting the team’s first four games, it’s unclear as of now who will start in the quarterfinals for the Americans.
— TSN Hockey (@TSNHockey) December 31, 2016
Both teams lost key cogs to their engines when Team USA captain Luke Kunin was given a five-minute major for interference and a game misconduct for a late hit on Team Canada defenceman Philippe Myers. After being evaluated for injury, Myers did not return to the game and is questionable for the remainder of the tournament. The Americans may also be without Kunin for part of the medal round as the IIHF will review the hit before deciding on supplemental discipline.
Too many men
Things got weird with just over a minute left in the game when both teams were assessed a too-many-men-on-the-ice penalty at the same time. As Ray Ferraro said during the TSN broadcast, “That’s something I have never, ever seen before.” As often as these countries meet on the ice, they somehow, someway, keep finding ways to surprise us.