By: Jake Reiser
For the first time in five seasons, Team USA defeated Team Russia in the group stage of the World Junior Classic hosted both in Toronro, Ontario and Montreal, Quebec, Canada. Clayton Keller had two important points, and Charlie McAvoy had an assist.
It started with Keller making a diving play in front of Russian goaltender and Flyers prospect Ilya Samsonov, tucking a puck around a poke check and into the back of the net on his backhand and while on his stomach to make it 1-0, USA. Kirill Urakov deflected a bouncing pass in a short-handed 2-on-1 past USA netminder Tyler Parsons to even the score. Keller and McAvoy got their final points on a Colin White powerplay goal that made it 2-1 United States. Keller made a pass to McAvoy at the top of the point, who took a wrister.
White, a forward at BC, collected the rebound to slide into a wide open net. Denver forward Troy Terry deflected a puck behind the goal line pass from PC forward Erik Foley, giving the US a two goal advantage. Kirill Kaprizov, who had a hat trick earlier in the tournament, scored a power play goal of his own late in the second to make it a one goal game once again. Parsons stood on his head until the end, however, sealing a USA victory.
Team USA, still stacked with six Terriers, now leads Group B by 3 points and has their final group play matchup against Team Canada on New Years Eve.