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U.S. Tops Canada West, 2-1, in WJAC

By USA Hockey, 12/12/17, 6:45PM EST

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Team USA returns to action today vs Switzerland in quarterfinals

TRURO, N.S. – Jake Kucharski (Erie, Pa.) made 27 saves and Jack Dugan (Pittsburgh, Pa.) scored a last-minute game-winning goal as the U.S. Junior Select Team topped Canada West, 2-1, here today in game two of the 2017 World Junior A Challenge at RECC Arena.

“It was a closely matched game and a good rebound performance for us” said PK O'Handley, head coach of the 2017 U.S. Junior Select Team. “Every inch of ice you had to earn and we found a way to win.”

Team USA (1-0-0-1/W-OTW-OTL-L) returns to action tomorrow (Dec. 13) when it plays Switzerland in the quarterfinals. Puck drop is set for 2:30 p.m. ET. and will be streamed live on HockeyTV.com.

The U.S. and Canada West traded scoring chances in the opening period, but neither team was able to get on the board in the frame. Kucharski, who was called upon throughout the period, kept the game scoreless with a point-blank save during a net-front scramble with just over five minutes remaining in the period.

Cole Guttman (Los Angeles, Calif.) broke the scoreless tie for Team USA three minutes into the second stanza. The play started when Clayton Phillips (Edina, Minn.) put a shot on goal that forced a rebound allowing Guttman to gather the puck and bank it past Canada West goaltender Zach Rose. 

Canada West tied the score just 30 seconds later off a one-timer by Ross Armour. Neither team was able to convert the rest of the stanza as the teams remained deadlocked entering the final period. 

Both teams exchanged scoring opportunities in the last 20 minutes of play before Team USA clinched the victory with 34 seconds remaining. The game-winner occurred when Dugan banged home the puck after Canada West goaltender Rose lost sight of the play, accounting for the 2-1 final.

Kucharski finished the game with 27 saves on 28 shots in the win. 

NOTES: Jake Kucharski 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