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USA Defeats Finland, 9-4, En Route to Hlinka Semifinal

08/13/2014, 9:30am MDT
By USAHockey.com

BRECLAV, CZECH REPUBLIC—The U.S. Under-18 Select Team topped Finland, 9-4, en route to a semifinal bid in the 2014 Ivan Hlinka Memorial Cup. Knotted at 3-3 in the second period, Team USA notched six of the next seven goals, including four in the final seven minutes of play. Thomas Novak (River Falls, Wis.) led the U.S. with two goals and two assists, while Troy Terry (Highlands Ranch, Colo.) tallied a hat trick. The win sets up a semifinal showdown with Canada Friday (Aug. 15) at 11:30 a.m. ET.

“Despite the final score, the game was very even,” said Derek Plante, head coach of the U.S. Under-18 Select Team. “Finland is a good team with excellent coaches. We want to play the same way in the upcoming games and continue to improve.”

Finland opened the scoring five minutes into the game.

At 16:55 of the period, the U.S. converted on the man-advantage for the equalizer when Novak beat the Finnish goaltender near post.

In the second stanza, the Finns again struck early to jump out to a 2-1 lead 

At 2:32, Terry netted his first goal of the game on a cross-crease pass from Novak, making it 2-2. Ten minutes later, while the Finns were on a power play, Karch Bachman (Wolcottville, Ind.) capitalized on a Finnish mishandle at the U.S. blue line for a shorthanded tally.

On the man-advantage, the Finns tied the game, 3-3, at 15:15.

Team USA took the lead for good when Brock Boeser (Burnsville, Minn.) skated up the left wing, took a shot and Robert Jackson (Alameda, Calif.) was there to tap the rebound into a nearly empty net at 16:25.

After killing a penalty to start the third period, Novak followed up his own shot to make it 5-3.

Finland then climbed within a goal, capitalizing on a five-on-three situation at 4:30.

In the final seven minutes, Team USA scored four straight goals to secure a spot in the semifinal round of competition. At 15:39 Dennis Yan (Ann Arbor, Mich.) left the penalty box, rushed up ice and deflected a Bachman shot for a goal. Fifteen seconds later, Jackson led an up-ice rush on the right wing, made a cross-ice pass and Terry put the puck into another near empty net for his second goal of the game.

The U.S. scored another set of back-to-back goals, beginning with Boeser’s slap shot that snuck under the cross bar, making it 8-4. Terry completed his hat trick, firing the puck in the same spot as Boeser, for the ninth U.S. goal.

The U.S. Under-18 Select Team will travel to Piestany, Slovakia, to take on familiar foe Canada in the semifinals Friday (Aug. 15) at 11:30 a.m. ET.

Stay tuned to USAHockey.com for complete Team USA Hlinka Cup coverage. Also, follow @USAHockeyScores for in-game updates. Play-by-play action is available at eurolivescores.com.

Notes: Novak led all scorers with four points (2-2) today … Terry notched three points (3-0) … Novak (2-5), Boeser (5-1), Yan (3-3), Jackson (2-2) and Gabriele (1-3) are all in the top 10 for tournament scoring … Novak (2-5) and Boeser (5-1) are first and second, respectively.

USA vs. Finland Box Score

First PeriodScoring: 1, FIN, Tammela (Aho), 5:16; 1, USA, Novak (Young, Gabriele), 16:55 (PP). Penalties: USA, Olson (high-sticking), 0:14; FIN, Juolevi (slashing), 15:21; USA, Olson (tripping), 18:22.

Second PeriodScoring: 2, FIN, Palmu (unassisted), 0:49; 2, USA, Terry (Novak, Jackson), 2:32; 3, USA, Bachman (unassisted), 13:45 (SH); 3, FIN, Saarijarvi (Palmu, Nattinen), 15:15 (PP); 4, USA, Jackson (Boeser), 16:25. Penalties: USA, Yan (high-sticking), 4:37; FIN, Ruotsalainen (slashing), 7:14; USA, Wilkie (cross-checking), 12:51; USA, Bachman (10-minute misconduct), 13:45; USA, Cecconi (interference), 14:44; FIN, Tavernier (roughing), 15:41; USA, Boeser (roughing), 15:41; FIN, Tammela (slashing), 17:50; USA, Novak (charging), 19:55.

Third PeriodScoring: 5, USA, Novak (unassisted), 2:19; 4, FIN, Aho (Vainio), 4:30 (PP), 6, USA, Yan (Bachman), 13:39; 7, USA, Terry (Jackson, Gabriele), 13:54; 8, USA, Boeser (Foley), 16:47; 9, USA, Terry (Novak), 17:54. Penalties: USA, Filipe (slashing), 2:32; USA, Terry (cross-checking), 2:32; FIN, Mattila (hooking), 5:20; USA, Novak (hooking), 7:36; FIN, Jarvinen (slashing), 10:37; USA, Yan (tripping), 11:18.

Shots by Period
1st
2nd
3rd
Total
USA
19
15
12
46
FIN
9
14
9
32

 

Goals by Period 1st 2nd 3rd Total
USA 1 3 5 9
FIN 1 2 1 4

 

Goaltenders Time 1st 2nd 3rd Total
Sarthou 60:00 8/9 12/14 8/9 28/32
Vehvilainen 60:00 18/19 12/15 7/12 37/46

 

Special Teams USA FIN
Penalties (Penalties/Minutes) 10/28 4/8
Power Play (Goals/Chances) 1/4 2/9

Team USA Schedule for 2014 Ivan Hlinka Memorial Cup

Date Opponent Time (Local/ET)
Aug. 9 Slovakia (Exhibition) W, 8-3
Aug. 11 Czech Republic L, 2-4
Aug. 12 Russia W, 7-4
Aug. 13 Finland W, 9-4
Aug. 15 Semifinal vs. Canada L, 5-11
Aug. 16 Third-Place Game vs. Sweden W, 5-4

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For the last 15 years, Ian Walsh has crisscrossed the United States as an NHL official. In this Part 2 of our conversation with Walsh, the 42-year-old Philadelphia native fielded a series of questions discussing life on the road, his conditioning schedule, mentors, on-ice struggles, the evolution of the game and advice for aspiring officials. 

USA Hockey: How do you think you've been able to maintain all of the officiating success you've had over the last 15 years?

Ian Walsh: I believe one of my strengths as an official is my work ethic. I come to the rink every night ready to work hard and give 100 percent. I also believe I am very coachable, and when I'm offered a suggestion for improvement, I try very hard to implement that advice into my game.  

USAH: What is your conditioning schedule like during the NHL season? How about during the off-season? 

Walsh: During the season, conditioning work is more about maintaining what you built up over the summer. The workouts aren't as intense but you must continue to take good care of your body. Game-day workouts usually include a 30-minute bike ride or a couple miles run at the hotel gym. I also like to do some core work and light strength training on top of that. 

The weather in Portland is amazing in the summer, and I prefer to be outside and on my road bike. I usually get in about four days a week of riding outdoors to help build my endurance and strength. I try to play hockey a few days a week as well to help work on my skating.

USAH: When did you realize you finally had cemented your career as an official? What was that feeling like?

Walsh: I don't know if you ever get that feeling. Every night is a different challenge in our league. It is a hard, hard league to officiate. The scrutiny of every call, every goal, ever non-call is such a challenge for all of us. The best players and coaches in the world expect us to perform at such a high level every night, and we have to be ready for anything that comes our way. It’s a privilege to be on the ice in the NHL, and I think that is something no official takes for granted.

USAH: What has been your biggest accomplishment to date as an official? 

Walsh: Being chosen to participate in four Stanley Cup playoffs is what I'm most proud of. It’s an incredible honor to be selected and that’s the goal for every official each year. Also, being part of the team that was chosen to represent the NHL at the 2014 Sochi Winter Olympics was a phenomenal experience and a great opportunity.

USAH: What has been the biggest hurdle/obstacle you've had to overcome in your officiating career? 

Walsh: I’ve been lucky so far, knock on wood, that I haven’t had any serious injuries. Other than some bumps and bruises, I’ve been relatively injury-free in my career. The biggest challenge is to be able to bounce back from calls you made that aren't correct. In this day and age, we usually know within minutes after the game if we made a wrong decision. When you make a call that impacts the game, it’s hard on the mind. Unfortunately, we make mistakes and what most people don't understand is that nobody takes it harder than the official making that mistake. Being able to bounce back from a mistake is something all officials must learn to do.

USAH: Who has had the most impact on your officiating career over the past 15 years? What has that person or those people taught you?  

Walsh: Nobody has helped me more over my NHL career than fellow referee Paul Devorski. I've worked a lot of games with Paul and we’ve had the opportunity to travel together on the road. As an elite, veteran referee, he has been able to pass down some of his knowledge to me to help me become a better official. Paul is retiring this year, and our staff will sorely miss him.

USAH: How has the game changed, besides speed, since you started in the early 2000s?

Walsh: I would say the biggest change besides the speed of the game would be the use of technology. It is amazing what you see at rink – teams have iPads on the bench, super slo-motion video replays, hi-def video scoreboards, etc. With all that technology, it makes the officials job appear easy. People forget that the official on the ice sees a play one time, in real time, and must make a split-second decision on that play. It often appears quite different when you see a replay in super slo-mo on hi-def after a game.

USAH: What advice can you give aspiring NHL/professional league officials as they progress in their career? 

Walsh: I would say make sure you have a backup plan. Making it to the NHL is everyone’s goal, but there are very few jobs available. There are so many factors that go into hiring an official and a lot of those are out of your control. Go and work the highest level available to you. Don't worry about other officials, if you are good enough, the NHL will find you. Also, control what you can control – always work on your skating, know your rules and come to the rink every night with a strong work ethic and a great attitude.

Tag(s): News  Hlinka Memorial Cup