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2018 IIHF World Junior Championship: 12-29-17

Canada 3 vs USA 4 (SO)

F Taylor Raddysh , CAN: 0-0-0, +1, 0 PIM, 0 SOG
Tournament Totals: 3 GP, 2-1-3, +3, 2 PIM, 7 SOG

F Boris Katchouk, CAN: 1-0-1, +1, 0 PIM, 4 SOG
Tournament Totals: 3 GP, 2-1-3, +3, 2 PIM, 8 SOG

F Brett Howden , CAN: 0-0-0, E, 2 PIM, 2 SOG
Tournament Totals: 3 GP, 0-0-0, E, 4 PIM, 6 SOG

D Cal Foote, CAN: 0-0-0, +1, 0 PIM, 0 SOG
Tournament Totals: 3 GP, 0-0-0, +1, 0 PIM, 0 SOG

Let’s be honest, it was a messy game, literally and metaphorically. But you have to hand it to the American, just hours after being upset by Slovakia, they fall behind 2-0 and 3-1 to the Canadians in terrible outdoor weather conditions, but manage a big rally to tie and eventually win in the shootout, throwing all kinds of chaos in the Group A standings.

Canada got out to a quick 2-0 lead with power play goals from Avalanche 2017 #4 overall pick Cale Makar and Dillon Dube (CGY, 2016 2nd round pick), taking the two-goal lead to the 1st intermission. The weather, however, took a turn for the worse in the 2nd period, with heavy snowfall grinding the game to a crawl, and it looked like it would be tough for USA to make a run. But with just under 5 minutes left in the period, Alex Formenton (OTT, 2017 2nd round pick) took a slashing penalty for Canada, and then Howden took an undisciplined cross-check in the ensuing scrum after the whistle. The Americans broke through and scored on the 5 on 3 power play with a goal by Kieffer Bellows (NYI, 2016 1st round pick).

But the Canadians would seem to bounce back a put the game away with a beautiful play by a couple of Bolt prospects. Raddysh picked off the puck in the neutral zone and lifted it over the USA defense like a tennis lob, springing Katchouk in alone on the USA netminder Jake Oettinger (DAL, 2017 1st round pick). Oettinger stopped Katchouk, but Jake Bean (CAR, 2016 1st round pick) kept the clearing attempt in the zone, and Katchouk redirected the shot from the point for a 3-1 lead by the Canadians late in the 2nd.

With Maxime Comtois (ANA, 2017 2nd round pick) off for a boarding call, USA capitalized with a power play goal from Scott Perunovich (undrafted) and then the Brady Tkachuk (2018 draft eligible) equalizer just 34 seconds later. The weather degrading weather caused many delays down the stretch and during overtime, sending the decision of the game to a skills competition. You play through 65 minutes of that kind of weather, and then you let a few one-on-none rushes decide the outcome? Oettinger was up for the task, but apparently not Carter Hart, with Bellows and Tkachuk scoring on USA’s first two attempts and then Oettinger blanked four Canadian attempts, including one from Raddysh. The hometown Sabres fans got a treat watching Buffalo 2017 8th overall pick Casey Mittelstadt setup all three of USA’s regulation goals, who just seemed to will the Americans to victory.

Canada plays again Saturday night against Denmark in their final preliminary game before the quarterfinals begin on January 2nd.