Blais coaches Team USA past UNDKreider leads Americans with 2 goals in 4-2 win
By: Alex Clark, USA Hockey
GRAND FORKS, N.D. - Chris Kreider (Boxford, Mass./Boston College) scored a pair of goals and Cam Fowler (Farmington Hills, Mich.) logged two assists as a U.S. squad of candidates for the 2010 U.S. National Junior Team defeated the University of North Dakota's men's ice hockey team, 4-2, tonight at Ralph Engelstad Arena.
Tonight's game marked the culmination of a three-day camp in Grand Forks, N.D., designed to prepare the 2010 U.S. National Junior Team for the upcoming 2010 International Ice Hockey Federation World Junior Championship. Of the 30 players invited to the pre-tournament camp, 22 will be selected to the final U.S. roster.
"I was really impressed with what I saw tonight," said Dean Blais, head coach of the U.S. National Junior Team. "We played with a lot of energy, which is what you want to see from guys trying to make a team."
A scoreless first period saw Team USA generate a pair of quality scoring chances. Midway through the frame, Jordan Schroeder (Prior Lake, Minn./Univ. of Minnesota) darted around a North Dakota defenseman for a shorthanded breakaway, but his backhand shot was turned aside by goalie Brad Eidsness. Five minutes later, Jason Zucker (Las Vegas, Nev./U.S. National Under-18 Team) launched a snap shot that rang off the near post.
Kreider scored the game's first goal seven minutes into the second period when he redirected a Fowler shot over Eidsness' glove for power-play goal. But North Dakota's Evan Trupp tied the game at 1-1 heading into the third with a power-play goal of his own.
Less than four minutes into the third, Kreider struck again, this time just seconds after another Team USA power play had expired. A hard pass from defenseman Matt Donovan (Edmond, Okla./Univ. of Denver) hit Kreider in the crease, and he slammed the puck under goalie Aaron Dell for his second of the night.
Midway through the third, Zucker made up for his first-period missed opportunity, burying a hard wrist shot from the left circle to give Team USA a 3-1 lead. North Dakota cut Team USA's lead in half with less than a minute remaining in the contest on Trupp's second tally. But Danny Kristo (Eden Prairie, Minn./Univ. of North Dakota) collected an empty net goal against his former teammates just seconds later to solidify the Team USA victory.
Team USA goalies Mike Lee (Roseau, Minn./St. Cloud State Univ.) and Jack Campbell (Port Huron, Mich./U.S. National Under-18 Team) split time between the pipes, combining for 32 saves in the win. Meanwhile, North Dakota goalies Eidsness and Dell turned aside 22 shots in the loss.
NOTES: The 2010 U.S. National Junior Team preliminary roster will be trimmed tomorrow morning before the team travels to Regina, Sask. ... The final 2010 U.S. National Junior Team roster will be announced Wednesday (Dec. 23) following Team USA's exhibition game against the Czech Republic on Tuesday (Dec. 22) ... For a list of the preliminary roster players and their 2009-10 season stats, click here ... Only 23 players skated for Team USA tonight, with Ryan Bourque (Boxford, Mass.), John Carlson (Colonia, N.J./Hershey Bears), Justin Faulk (South St. Paul, Minn./U.S. National Under-18 Team), Jon Merrill (Brighton, Mich./U.S. National Under-18 Team), Kyle Palmieri (Montvale, N.J./Univ. of Notre Dame), Luke Walker (Portland, Ore.) and Dave Wohlberg (South Lyon, Mich./Univ. of Michigan) serving as scratches ... The 2010 IIHF World Junior Championship will run Dec. 26 - Jan. 5 in Regina and Saskatoon, Sask.
Scoring By Period
USA 0 - 1 - 3 - 4
UND 0 - 1 - 1 - 2
First Period - Scoring: None. Penalties: UND, Lamoureux (boarding), 5:03; USA, Lashoff (holding), 10:04, UND, Team (too-many men), 15:07, USA, D'Amigo (roughing), 16:17; UND, Hextall (roughing), 16:17.
Second Period - Scoring: 1, USA, Kreider (Fowler, Stepan), 6:51 (pp); 2, UND, Trupp (Malone, Marto, 17:37 (pp). Penalties: UND, Blood (tripping), 6:04; USA, Ramage (hitting after the whistle), 7:03; UND, Knight (hitting after the whistle), 7:03; USA, Brown (interference), 12:59; USA, Morin (holding), 17:06; USA, Johnson (boarding), 18:46; USA, Warsofsky (unsportsmanlike conduct), 19:16; UND, Hextall (unsportsmanlike conduct), 19:16.
Third Period - Scoring: 3, USA, Kreider (Donvan, Fowler), 3:36; 4, USA, Zucker (McRae), 8:57; 5, UND, Trupp (Marto), 19:11; 6, USA, Kristo (Stepan, D'Amigo), 19:44 (eng). Penalties: UND, Blood (contact to the head), 1:35; USA, Brown (hooking), 5:40; USA, Kreider (slashing), 10:58.
Shots by Period
USA 6 11 9 26
UND 7 11 16 34
USA, Lee 12 saves in 29:16
USA, Campbell 20 saves in 30:44
UND, Eidsness 13 saves in 29:52
UND, Dell 9 saves in 28:59
Power Play: USA 1-4; UND 1-6
Penalties: USA 9-18; UND 7-14