TORONTO, Ont. – Thomas Chabot (Sainte-Marie-de-Beauce, Que./Saint John, QMJHL) scored his second goal of the tournament and Connor Ingram (Imperial Sask./Kamloops, WHL) made 17 saves in his second start, but Canada’s National Junior Team dropped a 3-1 decision to the United States on New Year’s Eve at the 2017 IIHF World Junior Championship.
With the loss, Canada finishes second in Group B. The U.S. takes top spot.
In a rivalry as heated as this one – it was the 47th time the sides have met at the World Juniors – it’s no surprise that penalties played a major factor in the outcome. Canada took too many – eight – and couldn’t do enough on its own power play.
It was anything but an ideal start on the penalty kill. Just over a minute after Tyson Jost (Kelowna, B.C./University of North Dakota, NCHC) took a seat for goaltender interference, Jordan Greenway sent a pass from the goal line out front to Colin White for a short one-timer.
Thirty-three seconds after that Canada was on the penalty kill again; one minute later it was 2-0 after Greenway took a pass from Clayton Keller, walked out front and went five-hole on Ingram.
Six minutes in and Canada was without a shot on net and trailed by a pair.
Before the period was halfway over, Canada enjoyed a five-on-three advantage. The team did a good job of finding passing lanes, just not handling the passes and was unable to cleanly get a shot off.
An interference major on Luke Kunin early in the second period put Canada on a five-minute power play. A tripping minor a few minutes later put it up two players, and the team took advantage. A big rebound on a Dylan Strome (Mississauga, Ont./Erie, OHL) shot found Chabot in the left circle, where the defencemen fired it home.
Five minutes later Greenway’s shot from up high hit Jeremy Bracco, who found the puck and scored from the bottom of the right circle to restore the Americans’ two-goal lead.
After a shaky start giving up two goals on the first three shots, Ingram did his part to keep his team in the game.
First he flashed the glove to stop Joey Anderson on a breakaway with 25 seconds to play in the second period. Then he stones Patrick Harper in close on a partial breakaway early in the third.
Canada outshot the U.S. 26-20. Joseph Woll got the win in net.