SASKATOON , Sask. -- Team USA coach Dean Blais said the key to beating Canada for the World Junior Championship gold medal was playing Canadian-style hockey.
That style was good enough to earn the U.S. its second-ever gold medal at the World Under-20 Championship. John Carlson scored his second goal of the night 4:21 into overtime to lead the U.S. to the 6-5 upset over the five-time defending champs.
Carlson's shot from the left circle beat Martin Jones to end Canada's winning streak and give the U.S. its first WJC gold medal since the Americans beat Canada in the 2004 title game in Helsinki, Finland.
"Jack (Campbell) made a good save, and all I saw was the puck going up the ice," said Carlson, Washington's first-round pick in 2008 who was on loan to the junior team from the AHL Hershey Bears. "I was looking to dish right away (but) the guy was taking it away. I got lucky with the shot."
"He's been real good the last four games," Blais said. "He told me he'd be ready."
Jordan Schroeder, Jerry D'Amigo, Derek Stepan and Chris Kreider also scored for the U.S., and Campbell made a number of big saves while stopping 32 of 34 shots after replacing Mike Lee in the second period.
The resiliency shown by the U.S team is exactly what Blais was hoping for when he built his roster.
"We played Canadian hockey," he said. "We played gritty, we blocked shots, we backchecked hard, we had a tryout camp. You learn from the best. It's not an accident (Canada) won five straight gold medals. It's not an accident (Canada) put guys in the National Hockey League. I wanted gritty players, I wanted guys that would block shots and work at both ends of the rink. If we didn't have success I could live with myself. I didn't want a bunch of Fancy Dans that wouldn't play both ends, that were cocky and arrogant. I didn't have that team."
Jordan Eberle scored twice in the final 2:49 for Canada to force overtime. Luke Adam, Greg Nemisz and Taylor Hall also scored for Canada.
Eberle, the hero of Canada's memorable semifinal win last year against Russia when he scored the game-tying goal with 5.4 seconds left, nearly pulled off another round of heroics.
Trailing 5-3 as time ticked down in regulation, got Canada within one with a power-play goal. Alex Pietrangelo kept the puck in the U.S. zone and found Eberle in the left circle. He beat Campbell high under the crossbar with 2:49 remaining.
Moments later, he did it again. Campbell stopped a Nazem Kadri shot, but the rebound went to Ryan Ellis, who slid it to Eberle for the tying goal with 1:35 left.
"When you score a goal like that, it definitely picks up the team's momentum," Eberle said. "It almost lifts your team up to the point where the confidence is almost where we think we're going to win."
The U.S. had built its lead in stunning fashion, as D'Amigo and Stepan scored 2:11 apart early in the third period.
D'Amigo grabbed a loose puck in the neutral zone after Danny Kristo blocked a dump-in. D'Amigo broke out and passed to Stepan, who returned the puck to D'Amigo. The Toronto Maple Leafs prospect scored his team-best sixth of the tournament at 4:12.
Moments later, Canada goalie Jake Allen mishandled D'Amigo's dump-in and Stepan backhanded the loose puck high into the net at 6:23.
D'Amigo, a Toronto Maple Leafs prospect, didn't take any extra pleasure in ruining the hopes of fans from his future country of employment.
"I have my roots, and everybody else has their roots," said D'Amigo. "It's a great feeling for myself. That (the NHL) is a whole different story. This is the World Championship and that's the NHL."
Luke Adam started the scoring for Canada just 2:40 into the game. Jordan Caron led the rush out of his end. He backed down U.S. defenseman Matt Donovan and centered the puck to Adam, who was driving down the middle of the ice and put a backhand between Lee's pads.
The U.S. tied it when Kyle Palmieri caused a turnover at center ice and passed to Kreider, who fired a wrist shot over Jake Allen's glove at 13:56.
Just 36 seconds later, Schroeder put the U.S. ahead. Ryan Bourque pulled a puck off the wall in the neutral zone and started a rush. He passed to Schroeder, who beat Allen high over his glove.
Canada answered before the end of the first when Greg Nemisz completed a give-and-go with Kadri for his first goal of the tournament.
Pietrangelo was given a two-minute penalty and a 10-minute misconduct for checking from behind with 39 seconds left in the period, and the U.S. capitalized 1:03 into the second when Carlson's low point shot got through Allen to put the U.S. ahead 3-2. But
Canada drew even when Taylor Hall's shot popped into the air and fell behind Lee at 3:56. That ended Lee's night -- he was relieved by Campbell after allowing three goals on seven shots.
After Stepan's goal, Allen was replaced by Martin Jones, who saw his first action since his lone start, against Switzerland in the preliminary round. He stopped eight of nine shots.
Contact Adam Kimelman at firstname.lastname@example.org
Author: Adam Kimelman | NHL.com Staff Writer