LAKE PLACID, N.Y. – Team USA capitalized on strong special-teams play as it captured a 6-1 victory over Russia in the teams’ second matchup at the 2009 USA Hockey National Junior Evaluation Camp at the Olympic Center in Lake Placid.
Team USA scored four times with the man advantage while surrendering no power-play goals. Goalie Jack Campbell (Port Huron, Mich.) earned a hard-fought win, stopping 24 shots and denying Russia on all four of its five-on-three power-play opportunities.
“Our special teams were without a doubt the key to tonight’s game,” said Dean Blais (International Falls, Minn.), head coach of the 2010 U.S. National Junior Team. “While I was happy to see our power play come through, we can’t keep taking soft second penalties to put us down two men. Our discipline must improve moving forward.”
Team USA took a 1-0 lead on Danny Kristo’s (Eden Prairie, Minn.) power-play goal from the left faceoff circle midway through the first period. Campbell shut down a pair of Russian two-on-one rushes and turned aside 13 shots in the opening frame.
Camp points-leader Jordan Schroeder (Prior Lake, Minn.) shoved a rebound past Russian netminder Dmitry Shikin at 8:41 of the second on the power play, extending Team USA’s lead to 2-0. Less than two minutes later, Cam Fowler (Farmington Hills, Mich.) made the score 3-0, blasting a slap shot into the net for a power-play goal.
In the second period, Team USA’s penalty kill kept Russia off the board through nearly two minutes of a two-man disadvantage before Russia scored its lone goal on Sergey Ostapchuk’s power-play marker at 11:47.
Team USA put the game away in the third period with three unanswered goals. Fowler tallied his second power-play goal of the night at 3:21 of the third, throwing a wrist shot through traffic and past the Russian goalie. Kyle Palmieri (Montvale, N.J.) notched his fifth goal of the camp one minute later, driving hard to the net and jamming the puck under Skikin’s pads. Ryan Bourque (Boxford, Mass.) scored Team USA’s final goal as he buried a chance from the slot off a pass from Schroeder.
(Nathan also is a writer for Maineiacs Post to Post and the Maine Hockey Journal. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org)