The United States National Junior Team built a 4-1 lead over the Czech Republic and finished with a 4-3 victory Sunday to win its second game in as many tries at the 2009 International Ice Hockey Federation World Junior Championship.
A tournament-record 19,847 watched at Scotiabank Place as the U.S. won its 100th all-time game in the event.
With just one second left on the Americans’ first power-play attempt of the game, Jordan Schroeder (Prior Lake, Minn./University of Minnesota) rifled a wrist shot into the upper corner of the net from the top of the left circle at 13:00 to stake Team USA to a 1-0 advantage.
U.S. netminder Thomas McCollum (Sanborn, N.Y.) stopped all nine shots he faced to help the United States maintain its 1-0 advantage after 20 minutes.
After the Czech Republic tied the game 5:14 into the middle frame, Jonathon Blum’s (Rancho Santa Margarita, Calif.) shot from the point was deflected by Matt Rust (Bloomfield Hills, Mich./University of Michigan) into the Czech net at 11:46.
James van Riemsdyk (Middletown, N.J./University of New Hampshire) extended Team USA’s lead with a power-play goal at 18:34 on a shot from the bottom of the right circle. Next, Schroeder received a pass from van Riemsdyk, made a move to get space around the net and beat Czech netminder Dominik Furch on the short side from in tight at 3:43 of the third period to open up a 4-1 U.S. lead.
After a scramble in front of the net, the puck caromed out to the center area between the circles and Martin Paryzek blasted it home with McCollum out of the net at 7:02 to make it 4-2. Then at 16:43, Jan Kana’s power-play goal got the Czechs to within a goal.
The U.S had an empty-net goal waved off due to an offside call with :42 left and missed another opportunity at an empty net not long after. It didn’t matter, however, as McCollum, who made 24 saves in all, picked up his second win of the tournament.
The U.S. returns to action Tuesday, Dec. 30, when it faces Kazakhstan at 7:30 p.m. EST in its third game at the World Juniors. The game can be seen live in the United States on the NHL Network.
Notes: Schroeder had two goals and an assist and was named Team USA’s Player of the Game. Schroeder has 3-4–7 in two games at the tournament, and in eight career games at the event has 4-11–15 … The U.S. killed off 15 straight opponent power plays to start the tournament before yielding a late power-play goal to the Czech Republic Sunday … Defenseman Jonathon Blum (Rancho Santa Margarita, Calif.) is the captain of the 2009 U.S. National Junior Team, while forward Colin Wilson and defenseman Kevin Shattenkirk (New Rochelle, N.Y./Boston University) are the team’s alternate captains … Ron Rolston (Ann Arbor, Mich.), head coach of the U.S. National Under-18 Team within USA Hockeyâ€™s National Team Development Program, is the head coach of the 2009 U.S. National Junior Team. Nate Leaman (Clifton Park, N.Y./Union College) and P.K. O’Handley (Waterloo, Iowa/Waterloo Black Hawks) are serving as assistant coaches, while Jeff Blashill (Indianapolis, Ind./Indiana Ice) is the goaltending coach … The NHL Network will broadcast live all Team USA games in the 2009 IIHF World Junior Championship … Team USA finished fourth at the 2008 IIHF World Junior Championship and has played for a medal in the event each of the last six years.