West 1 - USA 1
WEST-USA DRAW SETTLES LITTLE IN POOL A
By Keith Borkowsky
REGINA — In a game Team West and the United States had to win, neither team got a result that helps them.
Both teams skated to a 1-1 draw in Sunday’s World Under-17 Hockey Challenge matinee at the Brandt Centre, and that forces West and USA to win their next games. Even that may not be enough to make the medal round.
“It certainly changes the picture for tomorrow,” West coach Del Pedrick said. “If we win tonight, it forces Quebec to make a decision. They have to decide on whether they want to see Pacific … and now that decision is out of their hands.”
USA coach Ron Rolston said a win becomes crucial if they want to fight for a medal.
“We may have to hope for other things and look at the actual rules on who moves on,” Rolston said. “We have to take care of (winning) first. Both teams wanted to win. It didn’t happen that way, and now we have to rebound and look for a better result later on.”
Despite being badly out-shot in the second period, West took a 1-0 lead late in the second period. Joel Broda came in on a three-on-two, fired short side and beat USA goalie Brad Phillips at the 17:28 mark.
“(Their forwards) are strong and play a good transition game. They got a lot of odd-man rushes,” Holfeld said. “My defence helped me out a lot and kept the shots to the outside. I got to see all of them.”
USA defenceman Kevin Shattenkirk said not scoring on their second-period chances was a key point in the game.
“We kept the puck down low and tried to work our strong parts of the game, which is battling down low. We generated scoring chances off that,” Shattenkirk said.
Heading into Monday’s crucial battle against Ontario, West has other challenges to overcome. Five players have been injured through the tournament, some for the duration of the tournament. As tournament rosters are set prior to the tournament, there is no opportunity for West to make emergency call ups.
“It certainly changes your energy level. You start the tournament with 22 players, and you have extra forwards and guys with lots of jump,” Pedrick said. “This has seemed to whittle away at our forward corps. I think we had nine forwards in the second period and an extra defenceman. The guys have been good. They played fairly smart.”
The Americans face off with Quebec in Regina Monday at 3 p.m. West meets Ontario Monday, 7 p.m. in Regina.
SLAP SHOTS — Team West captain Brett Leffler dressed for the pre-game skate, the first time he suited up since injuring his shoulder against Slovakia on Dec. 29. His decision to play was a game-time decision, but he only played the first period.
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