World Junior Summer Showcase: Final Day

Canada vs USA

Michael Rasmussen (photo-Doug Love)

Both teams came out firing early in the first period. Michael Rasmussen (Tri-City) threw a big hit on his first shift, not the first time he has made an impact early during this tournament. Just before the four minute mark Cody Glass (Portland) threw an ill-advised pass back to his d-man which was intercepted by Brady Tkachuk. On the ensuing rush Tkachuck fed a perfect pass to teammate Joel Farabee who would one-time it home giving the USA an early 1-0 lead. The Americans were controlling the play until Flint’s (OHL) Ty Dellandrea was able to pound home a loose puck off a caused turnover and shot by Jaret Anderson-Dolan (Spokane) to tie the game at one. Soon after, Quinn Hughes would take a bad slashing penalty, which would become a theme in this one, putting Canada on a man advantage.The Red and White would take the lead on a Powerplay goal off the stick of Owen Sound’s Nick Suzuki, 2-1.

A fun second period would start with Rasmussen doing what he does best, deflecting a puck passed the net-minder to extend Canada’s lead to 3-1. Moose Jaw’s Jett Woo had been pretty quiet thus far but made the Kamloops’ fans aware he was on the ice doing what he is known for. The 6’0” d-man would lay a massive hit on Jay O’Brien to which the Kamloops crowd gave him a round of audible “woo’s!” Hamilton’s (OHL) MacKenzie Entwhistle would be credited for a goal when a puck would take a ridiculous hop off a USA defender and into the net. Canada would score 1 more in quick succession which chased USA goaltender Keith Petruzzelli. The USA and Jack Hughes would begin a pushback and start to control the remainder of the period scoring twice in the last ten minutes, including a slick between the legs goal off a goal mouth scramble by centre Noah Cates. The period would end 5-3.

Early in the third USA would draw within one when Jay O’Brien would slam home a juicy rebound off a Quinn Hughes shot. Lethbridge defenceman Cale Addison would score on a puck that made it’s way to the front of the net after Oshawa’s (OHL) Jack Studnicka crashed the net. The play would go to review, but the goal would stand to restore Canada’s two goal advantage.

Team USA was obviously frustrated as Quinn Hughes would be caught for a lazy tripping penalty and his brother Jack Hughes would shoot a puck at a Canada player after the whistle. The American’s frustrations would continue as they pushed and pushed but couldn’t break through, including presumptive first overall pick Jack Hughes missing a gaping net. Canada would go down two men when Jett Woo would clear the puck straight into the stands giving the Americans a 1:37 2-man advantage. The USA’s attempts toward goal would be thwarted until after the power play had expired. Paul Cotter would score with 2:34 left in the third to bring the deficit back to one. With USA goalie Cayden Primeau on the bench the Americans would have a faceoff in the offensive zone with 1.6 seconds left. Tkachuk would attempt to shoot the puck directly off the dropped puck. The ref appeared to drop the puck and time expired but on second look, it didn’t appear the puck was ever dropped. Chaos ensued, gloves and sticks laid on the ice but cooler heads would eventually prevail. Out of the skirmish, Tkachuk was the only one to receive a match penalty.

Overall, this tournament was good for all parties involved. Coaches and executives were able to review their possibly squads and get an idea on who they really need to watch over the first half of the season leading up to the World Junior Championships in Vancouver and Victoria. If you are interested, the schedule is right here.

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