Jack Campbell (Port Huron, Mich./Sault Ste. Marie Greyhounds) made 21 saves, including 16 in the final two periods, to help the U.S. National Junior Team defeat Switzerland, 2-1, this afternoon at the Scotiabank Saddledome in its final game of the 2012 International Ice Hockey Federation World Junior Championship.
With the win, Team USA finished the tournament in seventh place with a 3-0-0-3 (W-OTW-OTL-L) overall record.
“You always want to win your last game of any tournament and we did just that,” said Dean Blais, head coach of the U.S. National Junior Team. “I’m proud of our guys for giving their all to the end.” Full game recap
Austin Watson (Ann Arbor, Mich./Peterborough Petes) scored a natural hat trick and added four assists to help the U.S. National Junior Team past Latvia, 12-2, this afternoon at the Scotiabank Saddledome in the relegation round of the 2012 International Ice Hockey World Junior Championship.
“I was happy with our effort and intensity,” said Dean Blais, head coach of the U.S. National Junior Team. “It was good to see our offense gel today and hopefully that can continue tomorrow.”
The U.S. National Junior Team participated in a fast-paced and physical practice here today in preparation for Tuesday’s morning game against Latvia that opens the relegation round.
Needing a victory over Latvia to ensure a spot in next year’s IIHF World Junior Championship, head coach Dean Blais put his team through scrimmage drills that included puck battles and plenty of shots for goaltenders Jack Campbell and John Gibson.
“We wanted to see a game-like situation and I thought it was good,” Blais said. “We have to be gritty over Latvia and Switzerland. We have to get in the hard-fought areas, come up with loose pucks and make plays.” More from practice >>
The four teams in the Relegation Round play a single round robin series. The three teams which finish first, second and third at the end of this round play again at the 2013 IIHF Ice Hockey U20 World Championship, while the fourth-place team is relegated to the Division I Group A. Teams carry over the points they earned from the Preliminary Round from the game against the other team from the group participating in the Relegation Round.
USA and Switzerland have 3 points each so a win over Latvia on Tuesday will guarantee the Americans a spot in the 2013 World Juniors in Russia.
Charlie Coyle (East Weymouth, Mass./Boston Univ.) and Jason Zucker (Las Vegas, Nev./Univ. of Denver) scored third-period goals, but the U.S. National Junior Team came up just short in a comeback bid against Canada, losing 3-2 in its final preliminary-round game of the 2012 International Ice Hockey Federation World Junior Championship tonight in Rexall Place.
“I liked the fight back by our team,” said Dean Blais, head coach of the U.S. National Junior Team. “We’re disappointed to not be playing for a medal, but we still have two games to go in this tournament, and we will continue to fight.”