MONTREAL, Quebec – Canada’s National Para Hockey Development team stormed to a 2-0 lead over the United States in the first 15 minutes of play on Friday night, but the Americans responded with three tallies in the second period to eke out a 3-2 win in game one of a three-game NextGen series between the two nations at Défi sportif AlterGo.
Curtis Duguay (Barrie, Ont.) and Cody Dolan (Calgary, Alta.) scored for Canada.
Adam Kingsmill (Smithers B.C.) turned aside 16 shots in defeat, and his American counterpart Griffin LaMarre made 11 saves to earn the win.
After engaging in a disruptive defensive battle with their rival for the first 10 minutes of the game, Canada’s transition attack broke through for two quick-strike goals late in the first period.
Duguay drew first blood by wiring a wrist shot to the top corner of the U.S. net with 3:09 left in the period, and then Dolan doubled the lead 82 seconds later with a low shot from the right faceoff circle that drifted past the pads of LaMarre.
Team Canada outshot the U.S. 7-4 in the first frame.
The United States scored three unanswered goals in the first 4:44 of the second period to seize the lead in the contest away from Canada. Ben Musselman cut the deficit in half at the 25-second mark; Joseph Woodke deadlocked the match at 3:26; David Eustace pushed the Americans ahead at 4:44.
Kingsmill slammed the door shut for the rest of the period by making big stops on multiple high-danger chances from the slot to ensure his team was only trailing by a single marker heading into the third period.
The U.S. outshot Canada 10-4 in the second period. The Canadians created some intense forechecking pressure in the third period in a bid to tie the game, but LaMarre and the U.S. defence stood up to the challenge and closed out the game.
Game two of the series will begin on Saturday night at 7 p.m. ET/4 p.m. PT.
“The team is fresh and new and exciting, so to be able to come in and lead, and show these new guys how to go about their game and how to act, it’s an honour to do so. I’m glad to help them achieve their goals.”
– Dolan on being named captain
“I think the team play was very good, especially in the first period. We used a lot of our cross and drops, we created a lot of scoring chances, including a goal off a set play we’ve been working on in practice the last five days here in Montreal. It’s just a learning curve for this young group, but they played well against an adult team. It’s a senior team against a junior team and we gave them a run for their money.”
– Head coach Brandon Reid (Kirkland, Que.) on the team’s play