WJAC Update: U.S. Soars to Finals

WJAC Update: U.S. Soars to Finals

Will face Denmark in Championship Showdown

The U.S. Junior Select Team defeated Canada East, 7-1 Thursday, to secure its spot in the 2014 World Junior A Challenge championship game Saturday at 2:30 p.m. against Denmark in Kindersley, Saskatchewan.

Goaltender Eric Schierhorn stopped 22 of 23 shots for the victory, while 12 players – including three of four participating Waterloo Black Hawks – registered points in a well-balanced offensive effort from Team USA.

The U.S. squad opened the scoring at 5:18 of the first period.Ryan Zuhlsdorf initiated the play, firing a shot from the left point that Mason Bergh redirected on net. The rebound came toTyler Sheehy, parked atop of the crease, who slapped it in to stake the U.S. to a 1-0 lead.

Less than one minute later, in the left offensive corner, Dakota Joshua stole the puck from a Canadian defender and passed toAnthony Angello whose wrist-shot found twine and extended the lead. It would prove to be the game-winning goal.

Tom Novak added to the U.S. lead at 9:48, scoring his second goal of the tournament.

With 6:12 left in the period, Canada East scored on a three-on-two to make it 3-1, but Team USA answered less than two minutes later, when Joshua centered a feed from the left corner to Joe Snivley who beat Canada’s Blade Mann-Dixon to make it 4-1.

The U.S. added a fifth goal at 16:29 of the first, as captain Kyle Connor rushed up the left wing, cut into the slot and scored to make it 5-1.

At 8:16 of the second stanza, Novak faked a shot at the top of the left circle, passing to Dylan Gambrell for the net-front chip-in and the period’s lone goal.

The U.S. scored its seventh goal with 2:28 left in the third period when Zuhlsforf threw the puck on net from the top of the left circle, and Brock Boeser redirected it past Mann-Dixon to give Team USA it’s final margin of victory. It was Boeser’s team-leading third goal of the tournament.

In addition to Sheehy, Novak, and Boeser, the Black Hawks are also represented in Kindersley by defenseman Hayden Shaw.