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Butler & Team USA drop Bouwmeester & Team Canada in OT

by Staff Writer / Calgary Flames

EDITORS NOTE: Flames defenceman Jay Bouwmeester assisted on Canada's second goal. He put in 22:09 of ice time. Chris Butler was held pointless, putting in 16:09 of ice time.

HELSINKI, FINLAND -- Jack Johnson scored his second power-play goal of the game at 1:47 of overtime with John Tavares in the penalty box for delay of game to give the United States a 5-4 win over Canada. This was the first U.S. win over their rivals since 2010 and only second since 1985 (18 games).

Team captain Johnson, a defenceman, also played a game-high 25:44. Tavares had a goal and assist for Canada.

“It’s never fun to lose," Canada's goalie Cam Ward said, "no matter if it’s in regulation or on overtime. They scored a big goal to force it into OT and we took a bad break on the penalty to give them an opportunity to score."

“It’s an easy game to get up for," Jimmy Howard, Ward's counterpart said. "You’re having fun out there, and that’s exactly what it was today--fun. It’s great to get a good start. We’re now 2-0, and we just have to build off it."

Indeed, the U.S. is off to a great start while Canada is 1-1 in Group A action. Both teams have five games remaining in the round robin.

The young Americans opened the scoring off a harmless-looking rush. Jim Slater carried the puck into the Canada end with some speed, and while players from both sides gathered in front of goalie Cam Ward, Slater fired. His shot through a maze of players beat Ward cleanly.

Canada tied the game on a pretty goal. The puck came back to the point to Duncan Keith. He spotted John Tavares alone in front and fired a quick pass to him, and Tavares smartly outwaited Jimmy Howard before backhanding the puck in.

Canada was lucky to escape the first in a 1-1 tie. The Americans were faster and more creative off the rush, and only several fine saves by Ward kept the score close. Most impressive, Kyle Okposo had an open net off a rebound off the back boards, but Ward dove back and got his stick on the puck in the dying seconds.

Canada weathered two penalties in the first part of the middle period and then took the lead thanks to a nice play from Tavares again. Coming in with Jeff Skinner on a two-on-two, Tavares criss-crossed and left the puck for his teammate. Skinner then ripped a shot to the far side past Howard’s blocker to make it 2-1 Canada at 7:34.

Penalties caught up to Canada later in the period, though. Johnson tied the game when a loose puck squirted his way. He drilled a quick shot to the back side of Ward’s goal before the goalie could follow the puck over.

Special teams played a role again in a goal-filled third. Canada got a power play halfway through, but it was American Patrick Dwyer who stuffed the puck in on a wraparound at 6:43 to give the U.S. a 3-2 lead.

Evander Kane tied the game midway through on a great shot. He skated in over the blue line and a space opened, allowing him to move in. He ripped a shot over Howard's glove to make it 3-3.

The U.S. went ahead again with only 3:41 to go when Nate Thompson got his own rebound and backhanded a dribbler over the goal line. But with just 1:39 left, Duncan Keith ripped a slapshot past Howard to tie the score 4-4.

The game took one final turn in regulation when Tavares batted the puck out of play, earning a penalty with 1.1 seconds left before the overtime period. That set the stage for Johnson's overtime heroics, as he snapped a quick wrist shot past a surprised Ward to win it.

The Americans play Slovakia next, on Monday, while Canada battles France earlier that day.

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