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U.S. goalies Gillies, Demko praised by coach

Wednesday, 08.07.2013 / 9:08 PM

By Adam Kimelman - NHL.com Deputy Managing Editor / World Junior Evaluation Camp blog

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World Junior Evaluation Camp blog
U.S. goalies Gillies, Demko praised by coach

LAKE PLACID, N.Y. -- Though the United States lost 4-0 Wednesday to Sweden, coach Don Lucia said he was happy with the play of his two goalies, starter Jon Gillies and Thatcher Demko, who each played half the game.

"I thought they both made some real good saves tonight," Lucia said. "I'm not going to fault our goaltending in any way for the result of the game."

Gillies, a Calgary Flames prospect, finished with 19 saves on 22 shots in his 30 minutes. Demko, considered by some to be the top goaltending prospect in the 2014 NHL Draft class, stopped 16 of 17 shots.

Demko has played high-level international hockey before, including when the United States won the silver medal at the 2013 IIHF World Under-18 Championship. He said after the game Wednesday it was nice to be part of a higher level of play, even if the result wasn't what he or the team wanted.

"You play for the under-18 team like I did, the World Juniors, everyone seems like they're so much older," Demko said. "Then you finally get here and you're trying to settling in with the older guys … It feels good."

Demko will play at Boston College in the fall, and though he would love to have a spot on the team that goes to Malmo, Sweden, for the 2014 World Junior Championship, he said he's going to ignore those thoughts for now.

"It'll be in the back of my mind," he said, "But you have to focus on the game because that's what important. … I'll try not to [think about the WJC], I feel that could be a distraction, but it would be an honor to represent your country in any event."

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