United States of America tops Canada outdoors

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Hosts United States bounced back from their defeat yesterday to claim a dramatic win over Canada in the first outdoor match to be held at an International Ice Hockey Federation (IIHF) World Junior Championships.

Kieffer Bellows and Brady Tkachuk scored in the shootout, while all four Canadians - Sam Steel, Robert Thomas, Taylor Raddysh and Drake Batherson - failed to convert.

Kieffer Bellows and then Brady Tkachuk scored in the shootout for the USA on Canada goalie Carter Hart.

Canada had leads of 2-0 and 3-1 after each period as the snow kept picking up while slowing the pace due to the need for stoppages to shovel the white stuff off the ice. That progressed to heavy flurries in blizzard-like conditions through much of the second and third periods, ensuring those hired to clean the ice during TV timeouts were earning their wages to the last penny.

While the weather forced both teams into keep-it-simple mode when they had the puck, the curse of the ill-timed, bad penalty contributed to Canada's doom in this one.

"We had control of the game".

That was the rub in an atmosphere that was, at times, breathtaking. Hart was on the ice for every second of the almost four-hour game in very trying conditions, with the temperature hovering around -10 C and with several inches of snow falling.

"It was hard", Canada defenceman Dante Fabbro said. "You would lose the puck in the snow and you could not find where it was, but it was like that for both teams".

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Team USA wound up winning the game, 4-3 in overtime.

"Tough pill to swallow once again, losing to the Americans in a shootout", McLeod said.

"I can just talk about my team-mates, who made sure that I scored". A regulation win will clinch first place in the group for Canada. In world junior history, Canada is 4-0 against Denmark and has outscored the Danes 28-4.

Tkachuk and Bellows scored for the U.S.in the shootout, while Jake Oettinger came up big with a trio of saves to put the game away. The stands filled in, however, and when the final tally was taken, there was a world-junior record. Canada's two-goal lead was restored at 17:39 when Boris Katchouk deflected a Bean point shot.

Down 3-1 entering the third period, the US scored twice in a span of 34 seconds to tie the game. That gives the 19-year-old Mittelstadt six points (three goals, three assists) through the first three games of the preliminary round.

Any concerns regarding the health of three Canadian defencemen - Clague, Bean and Fabbro have been dealing with varying degrees of injury - dissipated.


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