If not for U.S. goalie Jack Campbell, the anticipated semifinal round clash between the Canadian Junior National Team and the U.S. might very well be a blowout.
In fact, by the midway point of the second period, Canadian fans were chanting, "This is our house." It didn't matter that they were sitting inside HSBC Arena in Buffalo, N.Y.
Campbell stopped 15 shots in the second period but received little support in front. Canada opened a commanding 3-0 lead at the 5:59 mark as Ryan Johansen continued his red-hot play after connecting with his team working a 5-on-3 man advantage -- the U.S. entered the game as the least penalized team in the tournament. With both Charlie Coyle and Patrick Wey both in box and the Canadians working a 2-man advantage for 1:36, Johansen controlled a feed from Ryan Ellis and deposited his third of the tournament.
Campbell would be called upon to make numerous stops from that point, including denials on Sean Couturier and Quinton Howden in the slot. Canada goalie Mark Visentin was also up to the task, however, making some equally difficult stops when the U.S. did find a rare crack in Canada's defensive armor.
Visentin, who made 12 saves in the second, has 17 through 40 minutes. A shutout over the Americans would be shocking, to say the least. Campbell has 25 saves through two periods.