WJC REPORT: RNH scores as Canada holds on to defeat USA

Canada and Czech Republic win but Germany loses heartbreaker to Slovakia in OT

Sunday, 30.12.2012 / 6:54 AM

Five Oilers prospects are taking part in the 2013 World Junior Hockey Championships in Ufa, Russia. We are providing daily reports and links to interviews and highlights through to the end of the tournament.

CANADA 2, USA 1

It didn't take long for Ryan Nugent-Hopkins to make his mark on the game. Just over seven minutes into the game, Mark Scheifle wins the draw in the USA zone right to Huberdeau who then feeds RNH at the top of the right circle. Nugent-Hopkins corrals the pass and then pin-points a wrist shot past American netminder John Gibson to put the Canadians on the board, 1-0.

Canada nearly made it a two-goal game moments later as they rushed down the ice on a three-on-one. Ryan Murphy took the shot and was denied by Gibson.

The Canadians received the game's first power play following a penalty by Jake McCabe but the Americans were able to kill it off relatively easily.

A couple minutes after the penalty, Canada did strike for that 2-0 goal. Brett Ritche picked up the puck in the corner of the USA zone and proceeded to wrap around the net. He slipped the puck right to Ryan Strome in the crease and Strome made no mistake, banging it in for the two-goal lead.

In the final minutes of the opening period, Gibson made a couple of big saves for the USA and Malcolm Subban did the same for Canada as both goaltenders stood tall.

Less than seven minutes into the middle frame, Griffin Reinhart clipped Ryan Hartman with a high stick and cut him open, putting USA on an extended four-minute power play but Canada's penalty killers did a good job keeping the Americans off the scoreboard.

After two periods, shots on goal were 25 to 19 in favour of USA. The Americans outshot Canada 15 to 8 in a scoreless middle frame.

With 12:25 to play in the third period, Subban tripped up Tyler Biggs in front of his crease to give USA a power play and an opportunity to cut Canada's lead in half. USA's best chance to break the goose egg came off the stick of Jacob Trouba moments before the penalty expired. Seconds later, Strome accidentally batted the puck over the glass and received a delay-of-game penalty to give the Americans their fifth man advantage of the game.

During this power play, the Americans finally converted to make it a 2-1 game. The play started with Ty Rattie taking a shot on a two-on-one that was turned away by Gibson. Coming back the other way, Galchenyuk fed Trouba. Trouba's initial shot was blocked but the puck went right back on his stick and he made no mistake the second time, chipping it past Subban for the goal.

In the final minutes of the third period, the US ran into some penalty trouble. Canada had multiple two-man advantages thanks to a number of penalties, including contact to the head by both Jake McCabe and Ryan Hartman. Both players also received 10-minute misconducts which took them both out of the game.

With 1:36 to play in the third period, Nugent-Hopkins took a boarding penalty to give USA a power play with a chance to tie it up. The Americans came close, but in the end it was Canada that held on for the 2-1 victory.

-- Marc Ciampa, edmontonoilers.com

CZECH 4, LATVIA 2

Martin Frk scored a pair of goals, defenseman Petr Sidlik had two assists and goalie Patrik Bartosak made 18 saves to lead the Czech Republic in Group A competition at the Ufa Sports Palace.

With the victory, the Czechs jump into second place in the group with six points. The country still has an outside chance of finishing first in the group depending on the outcome of their game against Switzerland on Monday and the result of the Sweden-Finland contest earlier in the day.

Dmitrij Jaskin's goal 13:46 into the third gave the Czech Republic a 3-2 lead. Frk then tacked on an insurance goal, with his team on the power-play, with just 27 seconds remaining in the third.

"After we got the first goal we took some penalties and let Latvia get back in the game," Frk told the IIHF website. "They scored and played a very good game."

Latvia goalie Ivars Punnenovs made 36 saves in defeat. Nikita Jevpalovs and Roberts Lipsbergs scored the goals for Latvia, which finished winless in four games of Group A pool play.

Oilers prospect David Musil was +1 with a shot on goal in the game.

-- Mike Morreale, NHL.com

SLOVAKIA 2, GERMANY 1 (OT)

The Slovakian National Junior Team moved one step closer to advancing into the medal round of the 2013 World Junior Championship on Sunday following a 2-1 overtime decision against Germany in Ufa, Russia.

New York Rangers prospect Peter Ceresnak, the only player on the Slovakian roster to be drafted by an NHL team, blasted a shot from the left circle that beat German goalie Marvin Cupper high on the short side. Ceresnak's goal, off an assist from top 2013 draft-eligible prospect Marko Dano, came 1:40 into the extra period and with Slovakia on the power play.

Slovakia, which suffered an 8-5 loss to Finland in the quarterfinals of the medal round last year and finished sixth, will meet the United States on Monday in a game to determine the third seed in the Group B field. Both the U.S. and Slovakia have three points in the group field. The contest is set for 5 a.m. ET (NHLN-US).

Bruno Mraz scored 4:02 into the third period to pull Slovakia into a 1-1 tie. The surprising Germans, who were outscored, 24-3, in three previous tournament contests, had taken a 1-0 lead 13:56 into the second when Edmonton Oilers prospect Tobias Rieder converted a pass from Leon Draisaitl.

In addition to the lone German goal, Rieder had three shots on goal and an even +/- rating.

-- Mike Morreale, NHL.com

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