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Geoffrion Assist Helps USA Edge Russia, 3-2

by Jay Levin / Nashville Predators
Blake Geoffrion recorded his first point of the 2008 World Junior Championships with an assist on the game-winning goal midway through the third period of Saturday’s 3-2 USA win over Russia. Jeremy Smith again got the starting nod in net for the US, turning aside 28 shots for his third win of the tournament. USA out-shot Russia 49-30 in the game and generated four more power-play opportunities (10 to 6). (For more coverage from Czech Republic, read Blake Geoffrion’s contributions in Blake’s Blog.)

Team USA scored twice in the first 7:44 of the third period to break a 1-1 tie. James van Riemsdyk scored his third goal of the tournament at the 3:01 mark of the third, a power-play goal assisted by Rhett Rakhshani. Mike Carman netted the eventual game-winner 4:43 later, Team USA’s lone even strength tally of the game. Geoffrion earned the first assist on the goal, with Chris Summers drawing the other helper. Goeffrion also registered four shots on goal in the game.

Russia closed to within one with an even strength goal from Viktor Tikhonov at 14:36 of the third period. The Americans were whistled for a penalty 0:17 later, but killed of the Russian power-play and finished the game on a power-play of their own when Russia was called for a penalty with 1:41 remaining in game.

The US opened the scoring on Tyler Rugsegger’s power-play goal 11:31 into the game. Kyle Okposo and Jordan Schroeder assisted on the play. Russia answered with the lone goal of the second period, when Alexei Cherepanov scored midway through the middle frame. The win secured Team USA a spot in the Medal Round, and at 3-0 the Amerians sit alone in first place in Group B. T

he US will finish Relegation Round play on Monday when the Americans face Team Finland.

Team USA Schedule and Results
Preliminary Round Games   Group B
Dec. 26 vs. Kazakhstan W, 5-1 (recap)
Dec. 28 vs. Switzerland W, 4-2 (recap)
Dec. 29 vs. Russia W, 3-2 (recap)
Dec. 31 vs. Finland 11 a.m. CT
Medal Round  
Jan. 2 Quarterfinals* TBD
Jan. 4 Semifinals* TBD
Jan. 5 Championship Game* TBD

* game times and opponents to be determined based on qualifying results from round-robin pool play.

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