Friday, January 1, 2010

International Badgers: U17's Win, U20's Lose

I'll start with the loss by the U20 squad. First of all I just wanted to say that this was such a fun game to watch and is what hockey is all about. Speed, passion, and pride were on full display during this contest. I didn't get to watch this as closely as I would have liked because I was at a New Years party watching the game but from what I did see it was great hockey.

Unfortunitly, Team USA fell to Canada 5-4 in a shootout. Derek Stepans line, with him on the pivot and Danny Kristo and Jerry D'Amigo on the wings was absolutely outstanding last night. They had pressure the whole night and continued to cause confusion for Team Canada. Stepan had an assist on an early third period goal by Kristo.

USA held a 4-2 lead in the third period but could not hold on. The high powered Canadians continued to attack and were able to score two third period goals to force overtime and an eventual shootout. In the shootout Canada scored on all three attempts. Team USA sent out Kristo and Jeremy Morin first and second and they both scored. With the game on the line Team USA sent out Jordan Schroeder to try and keep the game alive, and not surprisingly, the Gopher choked and USA lost.

Next, Team USA will play Finland in the quarterfinals tomorrow (Saturday) at 8 PM Central Time. You can watch the game live on the NHL Network.
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The U17 United States squad had a better outcome last night. The young American squad bested the Russians 7-3 in the World U17 Challenge. Uncommitted forward Rocco Grimaldi is having an absolute beast of a tournament and from all accounts has been the best player at the tournament so far.

According to the USA Hockey Website, The U.S. will take on Canada-Pacific Saturday at 7 p.m. in Kirkland Lake, Ont., with a chance to clinch first place in Group B.