Coming into today’s game, Team USA was riding a three-game win streak. They defeated Germany, Russia, and the host nation, Czech Republic, but it was Finland who tripped them up.
USA’s Trevor Zegras was the tournament’s leader in points while teammate Shane Pinto was right behind him. Unfortunately, neither were able to record a point in the game that mattered most.
What Went Wrong
For Team USA, it wasn’t that they got beat, they beat themselves. They had a slight shot advantage over Finland, 30-29, and had more NHL talent than their opponent. But it was the penalties that did USA in.
USA racked up 33 penalty minutes to Finland’s four. The game was close throughout as there was only one goal scored, but USA had trouble keeping men on the ice.
Men in The Box
Alex Turcotte received a four-minute penalty in the first period while John Beecher received a two-minute penalty ten minutes later. In the third, Jack Drury added himself to the sin-bin, but it was Oliver Wahlstrom who put the icing on the cake.
Wahlstrom received a five-minute major with 20 minutes added on which left Team USA down a man in the most crucial moments of the game. Although there was very little time left on the clock, USA was up a man in the closing minutes when Wahlstrom received his penalty which all but sealed USA’s fate.
Promise on The Horizon For Team USA
It’s a disappointing trip for Team USA as they didn’t even make the medal round. Although they’re coming home empty-handed, there is promise for USA going forward.
Trevor Zegras, Shane Pinto, Arthur Kaliyev, and Oliver Wahlstrom all showed promise and will add a lot of talent to their respective NHL roster.
USA’s medal streak came to an end at four years as they weren’t able to complete the task. Stay up-to-date on prospect news by following me on Twitter @Nwinansw.