USA eliminated by Russia in world junior hockey championship quarters
The United States was eliminated from the world junior hockey championship Friday with a 3-2 loss to Russia in the quarterfinals.
Defensemen Anthony DeAngelo and Zach Werenski scored for the Americans, who finished out of the medals for the second straight year after winning two years ago in Ufa, Russia.
"It’s tough to swallow," said DeAngelo, a Tampa Bay first-round pick who plays for Sarnia in the Ontario Hockey League. "We thought we were just as good as their team in this tournament. I still do, but we’re not going to have a chance to show it. It is what it is now."
Russia advanced to a semifinal Sunday in Toronto against Sweden, a 6-3 winner over defending champion Finland in Toronto. In the other semifinal, Canada will face Slovakia.
Canada beat Denmark 8-0 in Toronto, and Slovakia topped the Czech Republic 3-0 in Montreal.
Ivan Barbashev and Sergei Tolchinski had power-play goals and Alexander Sherov also scored for Russia. Igor Shestyorkin provided strong goaltending, with the Americans outshooting Russia 41-25.
"Before the game everyone said we are underdogs," Russian coach Valeri Bragin said. "I agree with that because the American team has a lot of skilled players and is well organized, but we capitalized on our chances in the beginning of the game, and we had solid goaltending. Our team showed real team spirit."
The game, a weekday matinee played before a sparse crowd at Bell Centre, was marked by 14 minor penalties. The U.S. was drawn into five of them in the opening period and fell behind 2-0.
"If you have to kill off that many penalties in a row you spend a lot of energy," U.S. coach Mark Osiecki said. "That caught up to us. We were very disciplined before and for some reason it didn’t work out today."
In Toronto, Curtis Lazar scored twice for Canada, Connor McDavid, Sam Reinhart, Lawson Crouse, Nick Paul, Brayden Point and Nick Ritchie added goals, and Zach Fucale made 14 saves. Canadian winger Robby Fabbri left early in the first period with an apparent right leg or knee injury.
Canada beat semifinal opponent Slovakia 8-0 in round-robin play.
"Don’t let the last game fool anyone because it’s not fooling us," Reinhart said. "They’ve gotten better and if they had a few breaks at the start, that would have been a different game. We’re not taking them lightly in the slightest."
Sweden had three power-play goals against Finland to push its tournament total to 12.
"Our power play is working really well," said Maple Leafs draft pick William Nylander, who had two assists to tie teammate Oskar Lindblom and Canada’s Reinhart for the tournament scoring lead with nine points. "We have a lot of confidence now. We beat Russia last time, so we just have to refresh the bodies and get ready."
Lucas Wallmark scored twice for Sweden.
In Montreal, Denis Godla made 24 saves and Michal Kabac, Peter Cehlarik and Martin Reway scored for Slovakia.
In Game 1 of the best-of-three regulation series, Switzerland beat Germany 5-2.