PARDUBICE, Czech Republic — The U.S. National Junior Team will play for the bronze medal in the 2008 International Ice Hockey Federation World Junior Championship against Russia after a 4-1 loss to Canada in the semifinals of the tournament.
“Canada played a great game,” said U.S. Head Coach John Hynes. “Our guys will refocus and be ready to play tomorrow. We have a chance to win back-to-back medals in this tournament for the first time in the history of our country.”
Canada took the lead at 2:46 of the second period when Shawn Matthias scored from just outside the crease after an end-wall feed from Matthew Halischuk. Then at 10:00, Karl Alzner fired one home from the top of the left circle on the power play. Team USA had a 13-to-6 shots on goal advantage in the period with Max Pacioretty’s (Michigan) rebound chance in front 11 minutes into the stanza among them. Team USA’s penalty-killing unit foiled :41 of a two-man Canada advantage late in the period to keep the game within reach after 40 minutes.
With goals by Gillies and Brad Marchand at 7:04 and 7:24, Canada took control of the game. James vanRiemsdyk (New Hampshire) banged one in from the right of Canada netminder Steve Mason at 13:26 to account for the lone U.S. goal of the contest. Mike Carman (Minnesota) gained an assist on the play.
Smith had 20 saves for Team USA, while Mason made 33 stops for Canada.