ROCHESTER, N.Y. - Kyle Palmieri (Montvale, N.J./Syracuse Crunch) scored twice, but a squad of candidates for the 2011 U.S. National Junior Team dropped a 3-2 shootout decision to the Czech Republic here tonight at The Sports Centre at MCC.
Tonight's game was the second of three pre-tournament games designed to prepare the U.S. National Junior Team for the 2011 International Ice Hockey Federation World Junior Championship, which will take place Dec. 26-Jan. 5 in Buffalo, N.Y. Of the 29 players invited to the pre-tournament camp, 22 will be selected to the final U.S. roster, which will be announced tomorrow at 9:10 a.m. EST on USA Hockey's Facebook page.
"We're a team that wants to play with speed," said Keith Allain, head coach of the U.S. National Junior Team. "We've got some work to do once we pick our final roster tomorrow."
The Czech Republic took a 1-0 lead 13 minutes into the game, but the U.S. evened the score in the final minute of the first period while on the power play. Palmieri took a pass from Justin Faulk (South St. Paul, Minn./Univ. of Minnesota Duluth) and fired a slap shot over the glove of Czech goalie Filip Novotny to make the score 1-1 after one.
After a scoreless second period, the Czech Republic again earned a one-goal lead just 22 seconds into the third. But Palmieri knotted the score at 2-2 midway through the frame with a rebound goal from from the far post.
Jeremy Morin (Auburn, N.Y./Rockford IceHogs) scored for Team USA in the shootout, but the Czech Republic earned the eventual victory.
Team USA will play its next pre-tournament game on Thursday (Dec. 23) against Norway at the Jamestown Savings Bank Arena in Jamestown, N.Y. The game, to be webcast live on FASTHockey.USAHockey.com, will start at 7:30 p.m. EST.
(Nathan can be reached at email@example.com)