USA Falls to Russia to start Group Play in World Junior Ice Hockey Championships

Edmonton: As the entire nation celebrates Christmas, the best hockey event in the world got started on Friday to see who will be the champions of the 2021 World Junior Championships. This year it will be very different as there will be no fans in attendance as the fight to takedown COVID19 continues and every game will be held at 1 building at Rogers Place in Edmonton, Alberta, Canada. Every game will be on TSN in Canada while NHL Network will have every game in the USA. 

The headline game of Day 1 of group play in the World Junior Championships was Russia taking on USA. 

Lineups:

USA:

Russia:

Russia would get the scoring started on goal from Vasili Ponomaryov for the 1-0 lead, USA would answer late in the first period as Philadelphia Flyers Prospect Cam York shot just got past goalie Yaroslav Askarov to tie game at 1.

Cam York Goal:

In the Second Period, this would be the story of the game as Russia would put up 3 goals for a 4-1 lead and the 4th goal would be the dagger for USA goalie Spencer Knight as he played the puck right to the russia player and put in an empty net as Knight made a diving effort to stop it before it went in.

Following this goal, Knight would get pulled for Dustin Wolf, Knight would make 8 saves on 12 shots.

The USA would make a comeback attempt in the 3rd period which would cut the Russia lead down to 1 at 4-3

USA cut the lead down to 2 on goal from John Farinacci with under 10 minutes left in the game

The USA would make this game more interesting as they cut the Russia lead down to 1 on the Power Play goal from Trevor Zegras with under 3 minutes left

The comeback would come up short as Russia would end the game with empty net goal and Russia takes this game 5-3 to start the World Junior Championships. The USA had their chances but made costly mistakes and bad turnovers really hurt them in the end.

USA Head Coach Nate Leaman thoughts on the loss

Who would start in goal for USA tomorrow vs Austria

Final stats:

The USA will look to get this bad taste out of their mouths as they battle Austria on Saturday at 9:30 PM on NHL Network & TSN.

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