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U.S. falls to Canada, faces Russia for bronze at World Championship

by Eric Marin / New Jersey Devils

Coach John Hynes can lead Team USA to bronze on Sunday. (Photo: Getty Images)

A valiant comeback by the United States turned into a lead that got away.

Team USA battled back to erase a 2-0 deficit against Canada, but couldn’t hold on to a 3-2 second-period lead. Two unanswered goals by the Canadians sealed a 4-3 semifinal loss for the U.S. at the IIHF World Championship in Moscow on Saturday.

Keith Kinkaid made 23 saves and David Warsofsky notched his first goal of the tournament for the U.S., which will face host Russia for bronze on Sunday.

“It was a hard-fought, well-played game by two very competitive teams,” coach John Hynes told USA Hockey's website. “We’re obviously disappointed, but we came here to win a medal and we have a chance to do that tomorrow. The bronze medal game is all about resiliency and mental toughness and despite a tough loss tonight, our guys will bounce back.”

The United States, which has won bronze in two of the last three years, is looking to capture medals in back-to-back world championships for the first time since 1949 and 1950 (bronze, silver). That span also includes the last time the U.S. medaled three times in four years (1949, 1950, 1952.)

Ryan Ellis (Nashville Predators) broke a 3-3 tie 1:34 into the third period to send Canada to Sunday’s gold medal game against Finland. The Finns topped Russia, 3-1, in the other semifinal.

After falling behind 2-0 in the first period, the Americans roared back with three goals in the opening 8:25 of the second. Auston Matthews put Team USA on the board before Warsofsky used an off-wing wrist shot from the right circle to tie things at 2 just 2:43 later.

Warsofsky’s first goal of the tournament was his third point in nine games (1g-2a). Matthews, the projected first-overall pick at next month’s NHL Draft, has nine points in nine games (6g-3a).

Tyler Motte (Chicago Blackhawks) gave the U.S. its first lead with the third American goal in a span of 7:11. But a power-play goal by Derrick Brassard (NY Rangers) with 4:30 left in the middle frame sent the teams into the second intermission tied at 3.

Kinkaid’s night included a blocker stop on Taylor Hall’s power-play breakaway with 1:08 to go in the second period. The U.S. outshot Canada, 33-27.

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