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Canada rallies for shootout defeat of U.S.

Thursday, 12.31.2009 / 11:10 PM / 2010 World Junior Championship

By Adam Kimelman - NHL.com Deputy Managing Editor

Canada rallied from a two-goal third-period deficit to beat the U.S., 5-4 in a shootout, in the final preliminary round game of the 2010 World Junior Championship, in Saskatoon, Sask.
 
Alex Pietrangelo's shorthanded goal with 4:15 left in the third period tied the game, and then Jordan Eberle, Nazem Kadri and Brandon Kozun scored in the shootout.
 
Danny Kristo and Jeremy Morin scored in the shootout for the U.S., but Jake Allen snapped his pads closed to deny Jordan Schroeder and clinch the win for Canada.
 
"I'd already had a test on him in the second period and he beat me," Allen told TSN of the shootout showdown against Schroeder. "So luckily enough, I got the best of him on that one."

The victory gives Canada the bye into the semifinals for winning Group A. The U.S. next plays Finland in a quarterfinal game on Jan. 2 (9 p.m. ET, NHLN-US).
 
"You're disappointed but the guys played hard, did what we asked of them," U.S. coach Dean Blais said. "It just happened to work in Canada's favor in the shootout."
 
Eberle scored twice for Canada and Brayden Schenn had a pair of assists. Allen stopped 24 of 28 shots.

"It seems like always we find a way to battle back," Eberle told TSN.  "We have something on all the other teams and that's the will to win, the Canadian heart. We want to win so bad and that just wins us games. It happened last year and it definitely happened in this game."

Tyler Johnson had a goal and an assist for the U.S., and Jerry D'Amigo had a pair of assists. Campbell stopped 30 of 34 shots, including a highlight stop on Eberle in overtime that saw him roll on his back to make the save.
 
The U.S. took a 4-2 lead just 61 seconds into the third period when Kristo took a Derek Stepan feed, made a great move to open space between himself and Canada defender Ryan Ellis and beat Allen low along the ice.
 
Eberle started Canada's rally with his second goal of the game. He and Schenn set up the goal with a strong forecheck, and then Eberle skated into the slot to tip a shot past Campbell with 9:57 left in the third.
 
Pietrangelo tied the game when he intercepted a U.S. clearing pass, broke into the American zone and beat Campbell under the crossbar.
 
Stefan Della Rovere started the scoring when he crashed the net to put the rebound of a Luke Adam shot past Campbell just 2:03 into the game.
 
The U.S. responded with a power-play goal at 3:40 when Philip McRae knocked in the rebound of a Jerry D'Amigo shot to tie the game.
 
Schroeder put the U.S. in front 2-1 when he scored shorthanded at 7:08 of the second period. Tyler Johnson got a loose puck in the U.S. end and found Schroeder on a fly pass. The Vancouver Canucks' 2009 first-round pick was all alone and scored between Allen's pads.

Eberle answered halfway through the period when he took a feed from Schenn, avoided a Campbell poke check and scored.
 
The U.S. went ahead 3-2 with a second shorthanded goal. D'Amigo made a nice play to get around Pietrangelo and drive into the Canada zone. After first glancing up at the clock to check the time, he fired a shot from the right side off the rush that Allen stopped, but Johnson drove to the net and popped the rebound over the Canada netminder Allen with 11 seconds left in the second.

In other action on the final day of preliminary-round play, Sweden beat Finland, 7-1; Switzerland beat Slovakia, 4-1; and Russia beat the Czech Republic, 4-2.
 
Finland actually outshot Sweden, 39-28, but Sweden goalie Jacob Markstrom was outstanding, and Sweden scored the game's first five goals.
 
A pair of New Jersey Devils prospects led the Sweden offense -- Jacob Josefson, the team's 2009 first-round pick, scored a pair of goals, while '08 first-round pick Mattias Tedenby had a goal and an assist. Marcus Johansson and Andre Petersson also had a goal and an assist each.
 
Sweden already clinched a bye into the semifinals for winning Group B. Finland's win earns it a spot in the quarterfinals, where they'll face the U.S. The winner of the Finland-U.S. game will play Sweden in the semifinals Jan. 3 (9 p.m. ET, NHLN-US).
 
Switzerland's victory clinched them a spot in the quarterfinal round, where they'll play Russia on Jan. 2 (5 p.m. ET, NHLN-US). After a scoreless first period, Nino Niederreiter scored 7:27 into the second period. He scored again 7:33 into the third to make it 2-0.
 
Richard Panik scored for Slovakia with 6:58 left, but a penalty on Tomas Tatar led to Tristan Scherwey's power-play goal, and Niederreiter set up Mauro Jorg for an empty-net goal to lock it away.
 
The Czechs, fighting for a spot in the quarterfinals, came out firing, but Russia's Vladimir Tarasenko -- NHL Central Scouting's top-rated Russian skater in its preliminary rankings -- scored 6:46 into the game, and then Kirill Petrov made it 2-0 in the second.
 
The Czech Republic got one back in the second, and Stepan Novotny tied the game with 5:59 left in the third period. But 52 seconds later, Tarasenko scored again, and then Russia scored twice more in the final two minutes.
 
The Czechs outshot Russia, 41-26, but Russia goalie Igor Bobkov continued his outstanding play by making 39 saves.

Canada will face the winner of the Russia-Switzerland game in the semifinals on Jan. 3 (5 p.m. ET, NHLN-US).

Contact Adam Kimelman at akimelman@nhl.com.
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