NHL

US beats Canada for junior hockey championship

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SASKATOON, Saskatchewan (AP)

John Carlson scored in overtime to give the United States a 6-5 victory over Canada in the world junior Hockey championship on Tuesday night.

Carlson beat goaltender Martin Jones on a 3-on-1 after U.S. goalie Jack Campbell made a save at the other end. It was the second goal of the game for Carlson, on loan to the U.S. team by his American Hockey League team in Hershey.

Carlson told TSN he gave his teammates a pep talk heading into OT.

``I said 'If you guys were to tell me at the beginning of the tournament that we'd be here right now going into overtime right now for the gold medal, anyone in the locker room would have taken it,''' Carlson said. ``So I think the camaraderie really helped and we really pulled together there and squeaked out a win.''

The U.S. got some revenge for a 5-4 shootout loss against Canada on New Year's Eve that gave the hosts a bye to the semifinals. The Americans also led that game by two goals before allowing Canada to send it to overtime.

``They're a feisty team, they're a great team and it was unbelievable playing them on New Year's Eve and now here it was just play our game,'' Carlson said. ``We know they're going to get chances and score goals, that's how good they are. We just needed to play our game and tonight it worked out.''

Canada was trying to win the tournament for a record sixth consecutive time. Tuesday's final was the first between the two countries since 2004, when the U.S. rallied in Helsinki, Finland, for its first gold medal in the tournament.

Chris Kreider, Jordan Schroeder, Jerry D'Amigo and team captain Derek Stepan also scored for the U.S., who had underachieved in this tournament in recent years with bigger names and more first-round NHL draft picks in the lineup.

The U.S. held a selection camp prior to this tournament for the first time instead of simply selecting 22 players for its team.

Canada has held selection camps for decades and the practice seemed to help the U.S. as it played a more cohesive team game in the tournament.

Canada never led in the championship, but Jordan Eberle scored a pair of goals in the final three minutes to force overtime.

``We battled back the hole game but they just kept coming,'' Eberle told TSN. ``It's not easy. We showed the heart that we had to come back. It's just tough to lose on Home ice like this.''

Luke Adam, Greg Nemisz and Taylor Hall also scored for Canada in front of a sellout crowd of 15,171 at Credit Union Centre.

``Everyone's bummed out,'' Canada defenseman Ryan Ellis said. ``We got so close and it didn't happen for us. But everyone's sticking together. We're a close team and we've got our heads up high.

``It's tough, especially coming back the way we did. We shot ourselves in the foot a bit (early on).''

Canadian goaltender Jake Allen was pulled after the Americans' fifth goal early in the third, replaced by Jones. Allen made 23 stops, and Martin made eight saves.

U.S. starter Mike Lee didn't fare much better, leaving early in the second after yielding three goals on seven shots. Campbell finished with 32 saves in relief.

Allen's sloppy play allowed the U.S. to take a 5-3 early in the third. The puck bobbled out in front of the Canadian goalie as he tried to glove it. Stepan caught Canada's defense flat-footed and raced in to bang the puck in.

The 2011 world junior hockey championship will be held in Buffalo, N.Y., before returning to Canada in 2012.

NOTES: Canada is 27-6-3 against the U.S. at the world junior hockey championship. ... The U.S. captured the World Under-17 Challenge on Monday by beating Canada-Ontario 2-1 in Timmins, Ontario.

Tagged: Jake Allen

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