In a game that had it’s share of ups and downs for both teams, it took a shootout for a winner to be decided. Both the USA and Canada battled through three periods plus a 20-minute overtime but still found the game in a 4-4 tie. The United States was able to score the only goal of the five-round shootout to win, breaking the hearts of the Canadian players and most of the 20,173 fans in attendance at the Bell Centre in Montreal.
Canada jumped out to a two goal lead in the first period with goals from Thomas Chabot,less than five minutes into the game, and another by Jeremy Lauzon at the nine minute mark. And that’s the way the first period ended.
But the US would score quickly in the second period on an equal strength goal from Charlie McAvoy to make it 2-1. Then, after a too many men on the ice penalty to Canada, Kieffer Bellows tied the score on the power play.
Bellows was called for tripping to start the third period and Canada quickly capitalized with a power play goal from Nicolas Roy. A few minutes later Mathieu Joseph scored to put Canada up 4-2 and got the partisan crowd thinking championship.
However, less than a minute later, Bellows scored his second of the game for the US and Colin White tied it a couple of minutes later and some of the air went out of the building. The period ended in a tie and the teams went to overtime. Although there was some thrilling action in the extra period, neither team was able to score setting up the shootout.
In the fourth round of the shootout, Troy Terry of the US went five-hole to beat Canadian goalie Carter Hart. US goalie Tyler Parsons was able to stop Anthony Cirelli in Canada’s fourth attempt and then Canada’s Roy had the task of saving the season for Canada. However, the puck rolled off his stick and with it went Canada’s dream of winning the championship.
It was a crushing defeat for Canada after having a two-goal lead twice in the game, including in the third period. Playing in front of a raucous crowd at the Bell Centre, the emotions of the fans and the players was extremely high.
Canada’s do it all defenseman Thomas Chabot was asked a question shortly after the game and found it hard to respond saying only – “I’ve just lost one of the biggest games of my life”. The 19-year-old then walked away while wiping away tears.
So what happened to Canada in this game? How were they able to lose a couple of two-goal leads? The answer may not be what they did, but what the US was able to do. This was a powerful team with a lot of resiliency.
US Coach Bob Motzko commented after the game. “This team has great camaraderie, tremendous heart and always battled.”
As hard as it was for the Canadian players, coaches and fans, this was an amazing hockey game by two great teams. And for Canada, there’s always next year.
The HockeyClan Writers