Canada and USA play an outdoor snowy classic at World Juniors

Dec 29 2017, 10:06 pm

What a game.

It was an outdoor snowy classic in Buffalo, as the game between Canada and the United States was decided in a shootout in front of a World Juniors record crowd of 44,592 on Friday.

Playing at the Buffalo Bills’ home stadium at New Era Field, Canada took a quick 2-0 lead in the first period. But the Americans, who were down 3-1 heading into the third period, came back to force overtime.

Just like the gold medal game in last year’s tournament, USA won the game in a shootout. The United States scored twice while not allowing a goal in the skills competition. Final score: 4-3.

Despite never having the lead during the run of play, USA held the lead in shots 35-22, outshooting Canada in every period.

Still, Canada has to feel like they let this one get away. They were in full control with a 3-1 lead in the third period before an undisciplined penalty turned the tide. They hit a goal post in overtime too.

No need to panic though, as Canada’s still in good shape in this tournament. They have what has to be considered a gimme game against Denmark on Saturday. If they win that in regulation, they’ll clinch first place in Group A.

Let it snow let it snow let it snow…

Did I mention it snowed? I mean, it snowed A LOT.

We’ve seen outdoor games before, but I’m not sure we’ve ever seen one like this. The importance of the game, the rivalry between the two countries, and wintery scene made this a special game.

Because of the proximity of Buffalo to the Canadian border, fan support was split in the crowd too.

The goals

It was a mostly sloppy game, as ice conditions were poor due to the snow. Both teams were forced to keep it simple.

Defenceman Cale Makar made it 1-0 for Canada early, scoring a power play goal on wrist shot from the point.

Canada padded their later on in the first period, scoring again on the power play. Calgary Flames draft pick Dillon Dube made it 2-0, converting a nice pass from Sam Steel.

After a pair of penalties put Canada down 5-on-3 late in the second period, the Americans finally got on the board. Kieffer Bellows, son of former NHLer Brian Bellows, ripped home a slap shot to give Team USA life.

Just 1:12 later, Canada regained their two-goal lead, as Boris Katchouk tipped in a Jake Bean point shot.

After a bad penalty by Canada gave USA a power play, Scott Perunovich made the visitors pay.

USA completed the comeback 34 seconds later, on a goal by Brady Tkachuk (son of former NHLer Keith, and brother of Calgary Flames winger Matthew).

Canada has one more preliminary round game against Denmark, which will be played at 5 pm PT (8 pm ET) on Saturday. The quarterfinals begin on Tuesday, January 2.

See also
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