Canada defeats United States in New Year’s Eve thriller
Team Canada defeated the United States 5-3 on their way to clinching Group ‘A’ on Wednesday evening in Montreal, Que.,.
The host Canadians move on into the quarterfinals as the top-seed in their group. Canada will open up the knockout stage of the tournament on Friday when they clash with the Danes.
London Knights’ captain Max Domi will never forgot New Year’s Eve, 2014. The Arizona Coyotes prospect was named Canada’s player of the game to sound of over 18,000 in attendance chanting his name. Domi, 19, opened and closed the scoring for Canada on Wednesday night cementing himself as a fan favorite across the nation. The son of former Toronto Maple Leaf, Tie Domi, Max Domi finished the preliminary round with a team-best four goals to go along with three assists. The Winnipeg, Man., native is participating in his first IIHF World Junior Hockey Championships after being snubbed by Hockey Canada last year. Domi has 58 points in 27 games with the Knights in the OHL this season.
Kelowna Rockets defenceman Josh Morrissey put the Canadians up by two midway through the second period. Morrissey’s first of the tournament was scored on the power play. Team Canada’s power play has been a strength for the host club. The Canadian power play is a tournament-best six-for-12. Canada went one-for-two with the man advantage on Wednesday night.
The American power play has been anything but a strength for the other North American competitor. After scoring on their first power play of the tournament – back on Boxing Day in a 2-1 shootout win over the Finns – the Americans went zero-for-13 with the man advantage. That was until Sarnia Sting defenceman Anthony DeAngelo beat Canadian goaltender Eric Comrie cutting the host’s lead in half seven minutes into the second period. The Americans finished one-for-three on the power play on Wednesday night.
Canada’s Curtis Lazar and the Americans’ Dylan Larkin traded even-strength goals seven minutes a part sending the game into it’s final minute with the host team up by a score of 3-2.
With Thatcher Demko on the U.S. bench and the American net empty, Team U.S.A were pressing to tie the game. However, Canadian’s Sam Reinhart – who finished the game with a goal and two assists – forced a turnover in the U.S. zone before tucking the puck into the yawning net giving the Canadians a seemingly comfortable 4-2 lead. Just 12 seconds later, Larkin beat Comrie short-side reviving the Americans with over 40 seconds remaining. The American optimism was short lived though as Domi fired the puck in the empty U.S. net after receiving a brilliant pass from linemate Reinhart with mere seconds remaining.
After another classic New Year’s Even match-up between the two North American foes, Canada closes out the preliminary round with a perfect 4-0-0-0 record. The Americans earned eight out of a possible 12 points with a record of 2-1-0-1.