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Sunday, December 30, 2012

Team Canada Sneaks by Americans 2-1

A very pro-Canada crowd was on hand in Ufa to witness a Canadian win over the rival Americans. Ryan Nugent-Hopkins and Ryan Strome scored early to give Canada the only firepower it would need in a 2-1 victory.

In a game that lacked consistent momentum for either side, it was the goaltenders who stood out for both teams. Malcolm Subban made 36 saves for Canada, while John Gibson made 30 in a losing cause.

After Canada's first period goals, both teams played very timid and lacked the usual intensity of a typical Canada-U.S game. The Americans changed that at the 11 minute mark of the third period with a Jacob Trouba goal, that would cut the Canadian lead down to one.

The American momentum disappeared however, thanks to untimely third period penalties that would include two game misconducts, one of which going to captain Jake McCabe for a hit to the head. The Canadians, disorderly on their man-up advantages, weren't able to capitalise on a five-on-three opportunity.

Back at full strength and smelling blood, the U.S put the pressure on the Canadians late in the third. With just under two-minutes left, a boarding call to the tournament's leading scorer Nugent-Hopkins, gave the Americans a late power play. Phil Housley then opted to pull Gibson, giving the States a 6-4 man advantage. After many close-calls and near scoring chances, Subban and Canada's willing shot-blockers managed to hold on for the win.

The win over Team USA moves Canada into first place in the "Group B" standings, but only for now. In order to earn the first round by, Canada is going to have to play a lot better tomorrow against a hot Russian team, who is coming off of a 7-0 win against Germany, and has a home crowd ready to add fuel to the fire.

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Rob Myerson is a Quebec trained secondary education teacher. After a year in Montreal, teaching at Beurling Academy, he moved to London, England where he currently resides and works. His previous sports writing experience comes from writing for Bishop's University's school newspaper, "The Campus".

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