The U.S. Junior Select Team has gone 3 for 3 so far in this year’s World Junior A Challenge, including one pre-tournament game against Canada West and both Preliminary games against Switzerland and Canada East respectively. Team USA opened the tournament with a decisive 7-0 victory over Switzerland Monday, December 15, and followed up the next day by edging out Canada East 3-2 in the dying seconds of the game.

Monday vs. Switzerland

The opening game for Team USA saw great goaltending resulting in a shutout for Eric Schierhorn (Anchorage, Alaska/Muskegon Lumberjacks) who stopped 26 shots in the win. Anthony Angello (Manilus, N.Y./Omaha Lancers) was also played a crucial role in the victory, recording a goal and 3 assists for a team-leading 4 points in the game.

“I thought we had a really good team effort tonight,” said Jay Varady, head coach of the U.S. Junior Select Team.

“We had a lot of contributors on offense and defense, as well as a great outing from our goaltender.”

A lot of contributors on offense and defense is right. When you score 7 goals and allow 0 in a game, there are bound to be contributors all over the ice, which is great for these kids’ development. Six different players notched goals in the 7-0 contest, with Andrew Oglevie (Fullerton, Calif./Cedar Rapids RoughRiders) scoring twice. The United States out-shot Switzerland 54-26 went 1 for 7 on the power play.

A full box score and webcast of the game can be found here.

Tuesday vs. Canada East

Whereas Team USA commanded the entire game against Switzerland, when they faced off against Canada East, the match came right down to the wire. The Canadians had the U.S. Junior Select Team on the ropes with a 2-1 lead late in the 3rd, but game-tying heroics from Seamus Malone (Naperville, Ill./Dubuque Fighting Saints) came with only 1:31 left on the clock. Team USA still wasn’t done however, as Shane Gersich (Chaska, Minn./Omaha Lancers) scored the game winner with only 2.5 seconds left in regulation. Two late goals in a span of 91 seconds were enough to secure Team USA the 3-2 victory, launching them into first place in the tournament and securing a semifinal berth.

“Canada East played a fantastic game. They were tenacious, hard-working and very competitive,” said Jay Varady, coach of the U.S. Junior Select Team. “But our group also did a great job. Late in the game, our leadership took control and didn’t panic, and we were able to capitalize on key scoring chances.”

The U.S. enjoyed a 46-28 advantage in shots on goal, including 23-4 in the third period. Cale Morris (Larkspur, Colo./Chicago Steel) got the nod in net for Team USA and was named U.S. player of the game.

A full box score and webcast of the game can be found here.

Team USA will play in the semifinals Thursday, December 18. Their opponent is yet to be determined.

Check for complete Team USA coverage at the 2014 World Junior A Challenge. For in-game updates, follow @USAHockeyScores and use #WJAC2014.

source: photo: USA Hockey
Born in the “non-traditional” hockey market of South Florida, Elizabeth (Beth) quickly grew to love the sport at a very young age after her Buffalo-bred family introduced her to the Sabres. High school friends who didn’t care about hockey couldn't understand her withdrawals during the 2004-05 lockout, but college would bring a hockey loving boyfriend (and best friend) to whom she could finally relate. A South Florida native himself, and an avid Florida Panthers fan, he got her into the home team. Together they work for their college hockey club (the FAU Owls), broadcasting games. Beth is a huge USA Hockey fan and hopes to see them win Olympic gold in her lifetime. Between her 2 favorite NHL teams, her college squad, and USA Hockey, it's hard to tell which team she loves most, but she is passionate about them all.


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