CANADA DROPS SHOWCASE FINALE TO U.S.
JASON LA ROSE
PLYMOUTH, Mich. – Nolan Foote (Kelowna, B.C./Kelowna, WHL) scored a goal and set up another, but Canada fell 5-3 to the United States in its finale Saturday at Canada’s National Junior Team Sport Chek Summer Development Camp.
The Canadians split their four games at USA Hockey Arena; they beat the U.S. in its opener Tuesday and downed Sweden on Friday, and had a loss to Finland on Wednesday.
Braden Schneider (Prince Albert, Sask./Brandon, WHL) and Joe Veleno (Kirkland, Que./Drummondville, QMJHL) also scored for Canada.
Special teams dominated the first period, producing all three goals.
Oliver Wahlstrom was first, beating Canadian goaltender Alexis Gravel (Asbestos, Que./Halifax, QMJHL) on a 5-on-3 to give the U.S. a 1-0 lead just shy of the 15-minute mark. Schneider jumped into the rush to score shorthanded and tie the game 54 seconds later, only for Cole Caufield to wire a shot upstairs on Gravel on the same power play to restore the American advantage.
Canada struck for a pair of goals early in the second period to take its first lead; Foote snuck a backhand just across the goal-line behind U.S. netminder Spencer Knight only 56 seconds into the middle frame, and Veleno redirected in a shot from Foote for a power-play goal and a 3-2 edge at 2:43.
Gravel gave way to Colten Ellis (Port Hawkesbury, N.S./Rimouski, QMJHL) midway through the second period after allowing two goals on 10 shots. Ellis stopped 19 of 22 the rest of the way.
K’Andre Miller got the Americans even before the end of the stanza, getting a seeing-eye shot through a maze of bodies and behind Ellis with just over five minutes to go.
Joel Farabee put the U.S. ahead for good just 26 seconds into the third period, wheeling into the slot and beating Ellis, and Ryan Johnson added a little bit of insurance midway through the final frame.
Final shots on goal favoured the Americans 34-31.
The 2020 IIHF World Junior Championship begins Boxing Day in Ostrava and Trinec, Czech Republic.