YARMOUTH, N.S. – The U.S. Junior Select Team defeated Switzerland, 7-4, today at Mariners Centre to advance to the championship game of the 2012 World Junior A Challenge. Team USA rushed out to a 5-0 first period lead and held off the Swiss attack in the third period.
"We had a fantastic first period -- our best period of the tournament -- because we used our speed to get pucks in deep and we were rewarded for it," said Brett Larson, head coach of the U.S. Junior Select Team. "Then we got into some discipline problems with penalties and Switzerland took advantage. In the end we hung in there and got the win. We will need to play a complete 60-minute game to be successful on Sunday."
Sheldon Dries (Macomb Township, Mich.) was instrumental on each of the first two U.S. goals, scoring from below the goal line after banking the puck off a Swiss defender at 2:47 and setting up Nicholas Schilkey (Smiths Creek, Mich.) exactly seven minutes later.
Team USA expanded its lead to 5-0 by scoring three times in 3:30 midway through the first period. Defenseman Justin Woods (Fairbanks, Alaska) had the primary assist on all three goals. He set up one-timers for Vince Hinostroza (Bartlett, Ill.) and Ryan Fitzgerald (North Reading, Mass.) at 11:43 and 14:50, respectively. Twenty-three seconds later, Blake Heinrich (Cambridge, Minn.) scored from the right circle.
The U.S. and Switzerland traded power-play goals in the second period. The Swiss tallied at 6:10 and Schilkey scored his second goal of the game at 12:54.
Switzerland scored power-play goals at 3:28 and 5:16 of the third period to trim the U.S. lead to 6-3. At 16:21, the Swiss scored their third straight goal to make it a two-goal game.
Hinostroza sealed the victory by capitalizing on a three-on-two rush with 1:18 to play.
Making his third straight start, goaltender Eamon McAdam (Perkasie, Pa.) stopped 23-of-24 shots in 40 minutes of action. Michael Bitzer (Moorhead, Minn.) had nine saves on 12 shots in the third period.
Team USA advances to Sunday's (Nov. 11) championship game to face either Canada-West or Canada-East. Faceoff is at 7:30 p.m. AST. FASTHockey will stream the game live and on-demand. Those interested in watching should sign up for a free account in advance at USAHockey.FASTHockey.com.
Team USA has won three of the last four tournaments (2008, 2009, 2010) and placed third in 2011.
NOTES: Team captain Vince Hinostroza (Bartlett, Ill.) had two goals and was named the U.S. Player of the Game for the second time in the event ... The World Junior A Challenge is in its seventh year and the United States is competing for the sixth time. In addition to the United States, the 2012 field includes Canada East, Canada West, Czech Republic, Russia and Switzerland. The official event website is available here ... Follow @USAHockey and @USAHockeyScores on Twitter for live scoring updates during the tournament and join the conversation by using #WJAC. For additional coverage, visit usahockey.com and USA Hockey's Facebook ... Brett Larson (Sioux City, Iowa), head coach and general manager of the USHL's Sioux City Musketeers, is the head coach for the 2012 U.S. Junior Select Team ... The assistant coaches are RJ Enga (Chicago, Ill.) and Derek Lalonde (Green Bay, Wis.). Enga is an assistant coach for the USHL's Chicago Steel, while Lalonde is the head coach of the USHL's Green Bay Gamblers ... For the complete U.S. roster, click here ... The U.S. roster includes 13 forwards, seven defensemen and two goaltenders. The 22 players represent 10 states. Six players hail from Minnesota, while Michigan (5), Illinois (3) and Massachusetts (2) also have multiple players. Other states include Alaska, Colorado, Florida, New York, North Dakota, and Pennsylvania ... Ten USHL teams are represented. Leading the way are the Waterloo Black Hawks, who have five players on the roster, and the Green Bay Gamblers, who have three.
Scoring By Period
First Period – Scoring: 1, USA, Dries (Kile, Schilkey), 2:47; 2, USA, Schilkey (Dries, Brady), 9:47; 3, USA, Hinostroza (Woods, Brady), 11:43; 4, USA, FItzgerald (Woods), 14:50 (pp); 5, USA, Heinrich (Woods), 15:13. Penalties: USA, Johnson (goaltender interference), 4:26; USA, Hinostroza (unsportsmanlike conduct), 12:27; SUI, Kukan (unsportsmanlike conduct), 12:27; SUI, Diem (tripping), 12:59; USA, Stenglein (charging), 18:51; USA, Brady (tripping), 19:05.
Second Period – Scoring: 6, SUI, Fazzini (Sieber), 6:10 (pp); 7, Schilkey (Stenglein, Kloos), 12:54 (pp). Penalties: SUI, Grassi (roughing), 3:18; USA, Baillargeon (roughing), 3:18; USA, Kile (misconduct), 5:24; SUI, Bertschy (misconduct), 5:44; USA, Schilkey (hooking), 5:44; USA, Stenglein (roughing), 6:38; USA, Stenglein (roughing), 6:38; SUI, Kukan (roughing), 6:38; SUI, Grassi (roughing), 6:48; USA, Downing (roughing), 7:25; SUI, Kukan (roughing after the whistle), 10:02; SUI, Hofmann (roughing), 12:22; USA, Woods (roughing), 13:42; SUI, Hachler (holding), 18:48.
Third Period – Scoring: 8, SUI, Leone (Zangger), 3:28 (pp); 9, SUI, Neuenschwander (Bertschy, Leone), 5:16 (pp); 10, SUI, Bertschy (Zangger, Leone), 16:21; USA, Hinostroza (Cammarata), 18:42. Penalties: USA, Heinrich (interference), 2:28; USA, Stepan (high-sticking), 3:14; USA, Heinrich (elbowing), 4:42; SUI, Antonietti (roughing), 6:52; USA, Downing (roughing), 12:33; SUI, Fazzini (roughing), 12:33; SUI, Diem (cross-checking), 16:35.
Shots by Period
|SUI, Boltshauser, 15:31||12/17||0/0||0/0||12/17|
|USA, McAdam, 40:00||9/9||14/15||0/0||23/24|
Power Play: USA 2-7; Switzerland 3-10
Penalties: USA 15-38; Switzerland 12-32
Tag(s): World Jr. A Challenge