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USA edged by Canada at World Juniors

by Staff Writer / New York Rangers
Game 1 Recap: Stepan Gets Three Points in Win

Game 2 Recap: Kreider Nets Winner in Shutout
Game 3 Hat Trick for Kreider in Rout of Latvia
Bourque Watch | Kreider Watch | Stepan Watch

Rangers prospects Chris Kreider, Derek Stepan and Ryan Bourque are headed for the World Junior Championships' quarterfinal round in the wake of Team USA's 5-4 overtime shootout loss to Team Canada on Thursday night in Saskatoon, Saskatchewan.

Leading 4-3, the Americans were within five minutes of a win when Canada's Alex Pietrangelo scored a short-handed goal to force the overtime. Brandon Kozun then delivered the shootout-deciding goal.

Derek Stepan
Both the U.S. and Canada were undefeated at 3-0 heading into Thursday's game. With its victory, Canada claimed the automatic semifinal berth for winning its round-robin group. Team USA will play a quarterfinal game against Finland on Saturday. The winner of that game will play Sweden in the semifinals on Sunday.

None of the Rangers prospects took part in the three-round shootout. The first five shooters all scored, and it was not until Jordan Schroeder was stopped in the final round that the Canadians had the win.

Only one of the Rangers prospects, 2008 second-round draft pick Stepan, cracked the scoresheet on Thursday with an assist on what might have stood up as the winning goal. Kreider had a penalty-shot that was stopped in his follow-up to a hat trick against Latvia on Tuesday.

Stepan, the USA captain who plays college hockey at the University of Wisconsin, finished the game tied for the team lead with five shots on goal. Kreider had two shots, and Bourque had one. The Canadians outshot the U.S. 35-28.

Canada took an early lead, scoring at even-strength at the 2:03 mark, but the Americans wasted little time responding, as they scored on their first power-play opportunity.

Phil McRae got the man-advantage goal, scoring on the rebound of a shot by Jerry D'Amigo at 3:40 of the first.

Kreider was called for hooking at at 10:14 of the first and U.S. killed the Canadian power play, as well as one more later in the first period. The penalty-killers took over in the second period as well, after Stepan was whistled for hooking at the 6:49 mark. Just 19 seconds after Stepan went into the penalty box, Team USA's Schroeder, a Vancouver Canucks draft pick, scored a shorthanded goal to make it 2-1 at 7:08 of the second.

Canada came back to tie the game at 11:15 of the second period, but just over a minute later, Kreider was awarded a penalty shot, which was stopped by Canadian goalie Jake Allen at the 12:20 mark. Kreider was taking his second penalty shot of the tournament, after having had one in Team USA's rout of Latvia.

Despite Kreider's miss, the American penalty-killers quickly made it a 3-2 game for Team USA when Tyler Johnson scored off another assist by D'Amigo at 9:49 of the second, and the 3-2 lead stood up through the second period.

Stepan helped Team USA stretch the lead to 4-2 at 1:01 of the third period, setting up a goal by Danny Kristo. Team Canada made it a one-goal game again at 10:03 of the third on a goal by Jordan Eberle, and Alex Pietrangelo managed to tie the score with a shorthanded goal at 15:45 of the third. Eberle was in the box when Pietrangelo scored, setting the stage for overtime.

Roman Horak, the Rangers' only other prospect at the 2010 World Junior Championships, saw his Czech Republic team's medal  hopes come to an end when the Czechs gave up three late goals and fell to Russia 5-2 in Regina.

Horak had a big assist in the Czech's loss, setting up an even-strength goal with only 5:59 left in regulation to tie the game at 2-2. He finished the night with a plus-1 rating.

The Czechs, who finished 1-3 in the round-robin, failed to qualify for the tournament quarterfinals and will play in the relegation round against Latvia on Sunday. Through his first four games, Horak, a 2009 fifth-round draft pick, has a goal and an assist.
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