CANADA FALLS TO U.S. IN OUTDOOR SHOOTOUT
JASON LA ROSE
ORCHARD PARK, N.Y. – Carter Hart (Sherwood Park, Alta./Everett, WHL) finished with 32 saves, but Canada’s National Junior Team fell short in a 4-3 shootout loss to the United States on Friday at the 2018 IIHF World Junior Championship.
In front of 44,592 fans at New Era Field who braved a blizzard for the first outdoor game in World Juniors history, Canada took a two-goal lead into the third period before the Americans came back.
After Sam Steel (Sherwood Park, Alta./Regina, WHL) hit the outside of the post on the first Canadian attempt, Kieffer Bellows went five-hole on Hart to put the U.S. ahead.
Robert Thomas (Aurora, Ont./London, OHL) was turned away by U.S. goaltender Jake Oettinger before Brady Tkachuk picked his spot over the glove of Hart. Taylor Raddysh (Caledon, Ont./Erie, OHL) and Casey Mittelstadt were denied on their chances, and Oettinger got his stick on a backhand deke by Drake Batherson (New Minas, N.S./Cape Breton, QMJHL) to give the Americans the win.
Cale Makar (Calgary, Alta./University of Massachusetts, HE) and Dillon Dubé (Cochrane, Alta./Kelowna, WHL) scored power-play goals in the first period for the Canadians, who have six goals in 11 opportunities with the man advantage (54.6%) through three games.
Makar needed just 4:13 to give Canada the lead, going five-hole on Oettinger, and Dubé took a short pass from Steel and wired a shot just under the crossbar at 15:17 for a 2-0 lead after one.
Penalty trouble led to a long five-on-three power play for the Americans late in the second period, and Bellows blasted a slap shot past Hart at 16:27 to get the U.S. on the board.
But Boris Katchouk (Waterloo, Ont./Sault Ste. Marie, OHL) got his stick on a Jake Bean (Calgary, Alta./Calgary, WHL) just 1;12 later to restore the two-goal advantage after 40 minutes.
The U.S. tied the game early in the third period with a pair of goals in rapid succession; Scott Perunovich knocked in a pass from Mittelstadt for a power-play goal at 6:09 before Tkachuk finished a Mittelstadt set-up 34 seconds later to make it 3-3.
Canada is right back to action Saturday to finish the preliminary round, taking on Denmark (8 p.m. ET/5 p.m. PT). A win over the Danes will give the Canadians first place in Group A.