LAUSANNE, Switzerland – Nate Danielson (Red Deer, Alta./Northern Alberta, CSSHL) scored early in the third period to get Canada within a goal, but it couldn’t find the equalizer in a narrow 2-1 loss to the United States in the semifinals Tuesday at the 2020 Winter Youth Olympic Games.
The defeat sends Canada to the bronze medal game on Wednesday (6 a.m. ET/3 a.m. PT). It will take on the loser of the Russia-Finland semifinal for third place.
Down by a pair of goals entering the third period, Danielson cut the deficit in half when he slipped a backhand past American goaltender Dylan Silverstein with his back to the net.
The Canadians swarmed the U.S. net in the final frame, out shooting their North American neighbours 10-3, but Silverstein was up to the task. The best opportunities came on a late power play with net minder Vincent Filion (Shawinigan, Que./Trois-Rivières, LHMAAAQ) on the bench for a two-man advantage, but Canada did everything except tie the game.
The first period was 15 minutes of frenetic, end-to-end hockey; the U.S. had an 8-6 advantage in shots in a scoreless opening stanza. Filion provided the biggest highlight, diving to his right to rob Maddox Fleming with a paddle stop.
The U.S. finally struck first three minutes into the second period when Frank Nazar was awarded a penalty shot. He roofed a backhand over a sprawling Filion for a 1-0 lead.
It was 2-0 just 2:14 later when Isaac Howard took a feed from behind the net from Chaz Lucius and beat Filion with a quick shot on an American power play.
The Canadian puck-stopper was perfect from there, giving his team a chance to come back with a 24-save performance.
“Going into tomorrow we just need to focus on our core values. Everything that our coaches have put into place, it helps us come together as a team and puts us in the position we need to get the job done. Anything can happen in a game like this, and moving into tomorrow it’s important to never give up, because we did show a lot of resilience today.”
- Fantilli on moving forward
“It was a bit of a scramble in front of the net. I could see a shot from the point and managed to get the puck and found the back of the net. It just showed how we managed to come together today, and I’m taking that into the next game to try and get a medal.”
- Danielson on his goal
“Not the result we wanted, but our group played as a team today and we were relentless in our pursuit. I am very proud of our young team and the progress we’ve made in a very short time. Our focus will be on making sure we continue to do the right things, the things we’ve worked on through our time together and focusing on our game plan.”
- Head coach Gordie Dwyer (Dalhousie, N.B.) on the focus heading into the bronze medal game