TWO FROM SAMUELSSON LEADS AMERICANS TO OPENING WIN
by Adam Campbell
WINNIPEG, Man. – With a thunderous clap of their sticks during the national anthem, the United States let people know they are here to play.
The defending champions carried that momentum into the opening game of the 2011 World Under-17 HockeyChallenge, scoring a 5-2 win over Finland Wednesday afternoon at the MTS Iceplex. Finland hasn’t medaled inthe tournament since capturing bronze in 1999.
Finnish goalie Oskari Setänen withstood an early American attack but couldn’t stop a Henrik Samuelsson breakaway ten minutes into the first period. Connor Carrick, Matthew Lane and Nicolas Kerdiles also scored for the Americans. Setänen posted 46 saves and was named Finland’s player of the game while Samuelsson – son of former NHLer Ulf Samuelsson – finished with a pair of goals.
Despite Setänen’s strong play, the Americans were too much for Finland to handle. Their offensive attack showcased several highlight-reel goals and was complemented by their strong defensive play. Their forecheck kept the puck in Finland’s zone for most of the game and at one point sent the stick of Finland’s Markus Kojoflying into the rafters.
After giving up five goals through two periods, Finland kept the U.S. at bay while adding goals from Topi Nättinen in the second period and Jusso Ikonen late in the third. However, it was too little, too late as the deficit was too large to overcome.
With the win, the U.S. keeps pace with Quebec, tying them for first in Group A with three points. Both teams play next on Thursday in Portage la Prairie, with the Americans facing Germany and Finland playing Quebec.
|Game Information/Renseignements sur le match|
|Game #/No. de match||02||Round/Ronde||Preliminary|
|Arena/Aréna||MTS Iceplex||Location/Lieu||Winnipeg, Man.|
|Date||Wed. Dec. 29, 2010||Time/Heure||03:00 PM CT|
|Goals & Penalties/Buts et pénalités|
|First Period/Première période|
|Second Period/Deuxieme Période|
|Third Period/Troisième Période|
|Goaltenders/Gardien(ne)s de but|
|USA||33 Jared Rutledge||On 1/00:00||Off 3/20:00|
|FIN||31 Oskari Setänen||On 1/00:00||Off 3/20:00|
|Shots on Goal/Tirs au but||1||2||3||Total|
|Players of the Game/Joueur(se) du match|
|USA||38 Thomas Di Pauli|
|FIN||31 Oskari Setänen|
|Lines People||Brett Boyce, Guillaume Labonté|