In its third game of the World Junior Championship, the United States lost 2-1 to Canada. That gives them a 1-2 mark in Group B Pool play with a huge game Monday against the Slovaks that will determine the Americans' fate in the 2013 WJC. The Americans never led in the game Sunday and have not held the lead in their past two games since an 8-0 tournament-opening rout of Germany.
NHL Network Analyst Dave Starman, who was the game analyst for the past four WJC's for NHL Network, takes a look at this recent USA-Canada clash. He has called five of these North American rivalry games at the WJC and saw some things different from recent games.
What Happened: I think a couple of things. The first is that the United States never had any consistent middle-lane drive to cause Canada's defense to engage from a bad position. The second is that the ability of the Americans to chance of the rush was consistently hampered by Canada's attention to detail on the back check. Transition from offense to defense is vital and backchecking through the middle is its biggest component. Canada did both well and, in essence, eliminated the American defense from being a big factor as a second wave.
Goalies were the story here. John Gibson deserved a better fate and was probably the best player on the ice for the United States. Of the two goals he gave up, one was an NHL-style goal, a high, hard wrister from a prime scoring area off a quick release by Ryan Nugent-Hopkins. The other was a back-door tip of a jam play from behind. Malcom Subban allowed his first third-period goal of the tourney on a power-play goal by Jacob Trouba, who has been the best American defenseman in the tourney for the second straight year. He has goals in all three games of this tournament.