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Team USA Falls to Czech Republic 4-2, in WJAC

By USA Hockey, 12/11/17, 3:30PM EST

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Jack Dugan and Sam Hentges scored in defeat

TRURO, N.S. – Jack Dugan (Pittsburgh, Pa.) and Sam Hentges (Fridley, Minn.) both scored, but the U.S. Junior Select Team fell to the Czech Republic, 4-2, here today in its opening game of the 2017 World Junior A Challenge at RECC Arena.

“We played pretty well overall but things just didn't go our way tonight,” said PK O'Handley, head coach of the 2017 U.S. Junior Select Team. "We have some things we'll look to improve on as we regroup for tomorrow’s game." 

Team USA (0-0-0-1/W-OTW-OTL-L) returns to action tomorrow (Dec. 12) when it plays Canada West. Puck drop is set for 6:30 p.m. ET. and will be streamed live on HockeyTV.com. 

The Czech Republic opened the scoring when Jan Hladonik connected at the 10:05 mark in the first period. Just 15 seconds later, the U.S. responded when Tyler Madden (Albany, N.Y.) skated the puck down the right side and found Hentges in front to even the score.

In the second frame, Christian Krygier (Novi, Mich.) nearly gave the U.S. the go-ahead goal with 2:05 remaining when he skated through the slot and fired a wrist shot, but it was turned aside by Czech netminder Adam Brízgala. In the final minute of the period, Ondrej Chrtek finished a 2-on-1 passing play to give the Czech Republic a 2-1 advantage entering the final stanza.

The U.S. netted its second equalizing goal of the game at the 9:37 mark when Jack Dugan (Pittsburgh, Pa.) finished off a passing play involving Blake McLaughlin (Grand Rapids, Minn.) and Jack Drury (Winnetka, Ill.).

With 5:13 to play in the game, Chrtek beat U.S. goaltender Ryan Bischel (Medina, Minn.) with a shot from the top of the left circle to make it 3-2 in favor of the Czechs.

Team USA had a power play with under five minutes to go in the game, but could not get a shot past Brízgala to tie the game. With 55 seconds remaining, Matyas Zelingr tallied an empty-netter to secure the score at 4-2

NOTES: The U.S. outshot the Czech Republic, 39-25…. Sam Hentges (Fridley, Minn.) was named U.S. Player of the Game…The World Junior A Challenge is in its twelfth year, and the U.S. is competing for the eleventh time … All U.S. players currently play in the United States Hockey League, the lone Tier I junior hockey league in the United States. For the full U.S. roster, click here … For complete coverage of Team USA at the World Junior A Challenge, click here… The 2017 field includes Canada East, Canada West, Czech Republic, Russia, Switzerland and the United States … Team USA has captured the World Junior A Challenge title seven times (2008-10, 2012-14, 2016).

 

2017 World Junior A Challenge

World Junior A Challenge History

U.S. SCHEDULE

Date Opponent Round Time (Local/ET) Location Stream
Fri., Dec. 8 Canada East W, 7-0 7:30 p.m./6:30 p.m. RECC Arena
Truro, N.S.
Mon., Dec. 11 Czech Republic L, 2-4 3:30 p.m./2:30 p.m. RECC Arena
Truro, N.S.
HockeyTV
Tues., Dec. 12 Canada West W, 2-1 7:30 p.m./6:30 p.m. RECC Arena
Truro, N.S.
HockeyTV
Wed., Dec. 13 Switzerland W, 3-1 3:30 p.m./2:30 p.m. RECC Arena
Truro, N.S.
HockeyTV
Thurs., Dec.14 Russia W, 5-0 3:30 p.m./2:30 p.m. RECC Arena
Truro, N.S.
HockeyTV
Sat., Dec. 16 Canada West L, 1-5 3p.m./2 p.m. RECC Arena
Truro, N.S.

World Junior A Challenge News