The United States National Junior Team suffered a 3-2 setback Tuesday to Canada in the final preliminary round game of the World Junior Championship in Malmo, Sweden.
With the win, Canada finishes first in Group A.
2014 World Junior Championship
Dec. 26-Jan. 5, Malmo, Sweden
All U.S. games on NHL Network; times Eastern
Dec. 26: U.S. 5, Czech Republic 1
Dec. 28: U.S. 6, Slovakia 3
Dec. 29: U.S. 8, Germany 0
Dec. 31: Canada 3, U.S. 2
Jan. 2: Quarterfinal — Russia 5, U.S. 3
“Both teams really competed from start to finish,” said U.S. coach Don Lucia (Minnesota) in a news release. “It was a well-played game. There was a lot of hard ice out there all night long. We certainly had our chances, but couldn’t get that tying goal. It was the first game we were minus in special teams and that ended up being the difference in the game.”
United States captain Riley Barber (Miami) and Stefan Matteau scored and goaltender Jon Gillies (Providence) made 21 saves in the loss.
The two teams battled to a scoreless opening period despite the United States controlling the play and holding a 13-6 edge in shots on goal.
Team USA broke through for the first goal of the contest when Barber scored a shorthanded marker at 3:29 of the second period.
Nic Petan tied the game for Canada at 12:19 of the second period and then the Canadians opened a 3-1 lead in the third period after two power-play goals in the first 6:13 of the frame.
Matteau pulled the U.S. within a goal at 17:15 of the final stanza when he took a pass from Hudson Fasching (Minnesota) just inside the offensive blue line and scored on a wrist shot from between the circles.
Barber was named the U.S. player of the game.