Monday, January 4, 2010

US beats Sweden in WJC, to face Canada for Gold


U.S. National Junior Team Advances to Gold-Medal Game with 5-2 Win over Sweden
Team USA Will Face Canada Tuesday

SASKATOON, Sask. - Jerry D'Amigo (Binghamton, N.Y./Rensselaer) scored twice including a third-period shorthanded goal, as the U.S. National Junior Team defeated Sweden, 5-2, in the semifinals of the 2010 International Ice Hockey Federation World Junior Championship . The U.S. (5-0-1-0) will face Canada in the gold-medal game Tuesday (Jan. 5) at 7 p.m. CST.

"We've gotten better every game of the tournament," said Dean Blais, head coach of the U.S. National Junior Team. "We worked really hard tonight, and we put ourselves right in the position we wanted to be."

Team USA scored the lone goal of the first period less than two minutes into the game. Kyle Palmieri (Montvale, N.J./Univ. of Notre Dame) fed Tyler Johnson (Spokane, Wash.) in the slot, who sent a shot high past Sweden goalie Jacob Markstrom.

Sweden took a 2-1 lead in the second period thanks to a pair of goals by Anton Lander. But D'Amigo tied the game with five minutes remaining in the frame by chipping the puck off the boards to himself in the neutral zone, racing towards the net and beating Markstrom between the pads.

Team USA regained the lead 12 minutes into the third when John Carlson's (Colonia, N.J.) long slap shot trickled past Markstrom and over the goal line. Then, while killing a penalty, the U.S. and D'Amigo struck again. Team USA's Player of the Game took a pass from captain Derek Stepan (Hastings, Minn./Univ. of Wisconsin) on a two-on-one break and sent a wrist shot over Markstrom's shoulder.

AJ Jenks (Wolverine Lake, Mich.) tallied a last-minute empty net goal to put the game out of reach. Mike Lee (Roseau, Minn./St. Cloud State Univ.) earned his fourth victory of the tournament, stopping 27 shots in the win. Markstrom turned aside 29 shots in defeat.

Team USA's gold-medal game against Canada can be seen live in the U.S. on the NHL Network. It will also be streamed live in the U.S. on The U.S. is returning to the gold-medal game of the World Junior Championship for the third time. Team USA is 1-0-0-1 in previous gold-medal games. The U.S. won its lone gold medal against Canada in 2004 ... Team USA is only the third team ever to emerge from the quarterfinal round to appear in the World Junior Championship gold-medal game ... Derek Stepan leads all skaters with nine assists and 12 points ... The 2010 IIHF World Junior Championship runs Dec. 26 - Jan. 5 in Regina and Saskatoon, Sask. The NHL Network (U.S.) and will air every U.S. game live from Saskatoon ... Canada defeated Switzerland, 6-1, in the other semifinal game.

Scoring By Period
1 -1 -3 -5
0 -2 -0 -2
First Period - Scoring: 1, USA, Johnson (Palmieri), 1:24. Penalties: SWE, Andersson (hooking), 7:16.

Second Period - Scoring: 2, SWE, Lander (Rodin, Andersson), 4:17; 3, SWE, Lander (Rodin, Silfverberg), 12:17; 4, USA, D'Amigo (Carlson, Gardiner), 15:06. Penalties: SWE, Rundblad (hooking), 0:25; SWE, Erixon (interference), 5:05; SWE, Johansson (tripping), 7:31; USA, Walker (roughing), 14:02; SWE, Lundberg (roughing), 14:02; USA, Stepan (delay-of-game), 16:31.

Third Period - Scoring: 5, USA, Carlson (Morin), 12:34; 6, USA, D'Amigo (Stepan); 15:32 (sh); 7, USA, Jenks (Morin), 19:05 (en). Penalties: SWE, Johansson (elbowing major, game misconduct); 0:39; USA, Fowler (slashing), 5:37; USA, Bourque (delay-of-game), 13:48.

Shots by Period
1 2 3 Total
11- 15- 8- 34
8- 11- 10- 29

Goaltenders (SH/SV)
1 2 3 Total
USA, Lee 60:00
8-8; 11-9; 10-10: 29-27
SWE, Markstrom 58:50
11-10; 15-14; 7-5: 33-29

Power Play: USA 0-5; SWE 0-3Penalties: USA 4-8; SWE 6-35
Attendance: 12,137

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