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US drops opening game of World Junior A Challenge

Moorhead's Gavin Lindberg scored, but the Americans went 1-for-8 on the power play in the tournament-opening loss.

Cornwall, Ont-2022-12-11 - Game 2 - USA vs Canada West during th
Team USA's Sam Harris (Sioux Falls Stampede) watches the puck get past Canada West goaltender Erick Roest during their preliminary game Sunday, Dec. 11, 2022 in Cornwall, Ont.
Contributed / Robert Lefebvre / Hockey Canada Images

CORNWALL, Ontario — Tied at three goals apiece heading into the final period, Canada West scored and added an empty-netter to seal a 5-3 win over Team USA on Sunday in the opening game of World Junior A Challenge preliminary play at the Cornwall Civic Complex.

Moorhead's Gavin Lindberg — a Colorado College commit who plays for the Waterloo Black Hawks in the USHL — scored for the Americans and the Fargo Force's Cole Knuble also added a shorthanded tally, but Canada West's Zac Somers scored the game-winning goal 11:50 into the third period to secure the victory for the team comprised of players from the Alberta Juniors Hockey League (AJHL), Manitoba Junior Hockey League (MJHL), Saskatchewan Junior Hockey League (SJHL) and Superior International Junior Hockey League (SIJHL).

Sam Harris of the Sioux Falls Stampede also scored for the U.S., but the inability to capitalize on the power play, including two chances in the third period, left the Americans without an answer in the final frame.

Rinzel, a Minnesota Gophers commit, says it'd be "unbelievable" to bring home the gold.
Andover native Garrett Schifsky of the Waterloo Black Hawks had a pair of goals to lead the Americans to victory in their lone pre-tournament exhibition game.
21 players from around the USHL will be taking part. The tournament takes place Dec. 11-18 in Cornwall, Ontario.

Erick Roest stopped 34 of 37 shots he faced in net for the Canadians, while Blaine's Christian Manz stopped 27 of 31 in net for the U.S. Ryan St. Louis had two assists for the Americans.

Next up

The U.S. will play Sweden on Tuesday, Dec. 13, in Cornwall before wrapping up preliminary round play with matchups against Canada East and Latvia. The Swedes open their tournament on Monday night against the Latvians.


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