LAKE PLACID, N.Y. – Thanks to an effective power play and stingy defense, Team USA rattled off seven unanswered goals to defeat Russia, 8-1, in the first of four games between the two teams at the 2009 USA Hockey National Junior Evaluation Camp.
Danny Kristo (Eden Prairie, Minn.) scored twice and John Carlson (Colonia, N.J.) and Kyle Palmieri (Montvale, N.J.) each logged a goal and two assists in the victory. Meanwhile, goaltender Mike Lee (Roseau, Minn.) played the entire game between the pipes for Team USA, earning the victory.
“We found out a lot about our team tonight,” said Dean Blais (International Falls, Minn.), head coach of the 2010 U.S. National Junior Team. “Our offense played with a lot of speed, Mike Lee was spectacular when he was tested in the third, and we were very disciplined.”
Team USA jumped out to a 2-1 lead after a flurry of goals in the game’s third minute. Kristo potted his fifth goal of the camp with a wrist shot high to the glove side at 2:03 of the first. Following a quick Russian response by Vladimir Tarasenko, Team USA’s Kyle Palmieri (Montvale, N.J.) jammed a wraparound behind goalie Alexey Trifonov at 2:44, marking the third goal scored in 41 seconds.
A pair of Russian penalties put Team USA on a two-man advantage midway through the first period, and the home squad capitalized. Carlson sent a hard wrist shot towards the net, where Zach Budish (Edina, Minn.) redirected the puck top into the upper corner of the net for a 3-1 lead.
Team USA gave itself a comfortable cushion with four goals in the second period. After Carlson connected on a power-play goal two minutes into the frame, Jeremy Morin (Auburn, N.Y.) slipped a breakaway shot low past Trifonov at 3:36 of the second, extending Team USA’s lead to 5-1. After Russia replaced Trifonov with goalie Dmitry Shikin, Ryan Bourque (Boxford, Mass.) and Kristo each connected to give Team USA a six-goal lead after two periods.
Camp points-leader Jordan Schroeder (Prior Lake, Minn.) finished off the night’s scoring with a power-play goal with two minutes remaining in the contest.
NOTES: The USA Hockey National Junior Evaluation Camp will feature three more games between Team USA and Russia Aug. 12-15 … Full camp coverage, including stats, photos and features, are available at usahockey.com … The 2010 U.S. National Junior Team, to be selected later this year, will participate in the International Ice Hockey Federation World Junior Championship in Regina and Saskatoon, Sask., Dec. 26 – Jan. 5.
(Nathan also is a writer for Maineiacs Post to Post and the Maine Hockey Journal. He can be reached at email@example.com)