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Goalie Carter Hart to start for Canada against Denmark at world juniors

31 December 2017

Team Canada has missed nine consecutive shootout attempts against Team USA. National Junior Team overcame a two-goal deficit to defeat Canada, 4-3, here tonight in its third preliminary round game of the 2018 International Ice Hockey Federation World Junior Championship at New Era Field.

A day after the Americans were upset by the heavy underdog Slovakia, they didn't let another game slip away. Canada's next game will be against Denmark Saturday night. The Flames prospect uncorked a lovely shot through a narrow window to extend the lead to 2-0. That quick start looked to be a major benefit for the Canadians, especially as the winter conditions worsened and snow moved in. There were several stoppages so that snow could be cleared from the ice. Bellows scored in the second for the US, but Boris Katchouk restored Canada's two-goal lead a minute later.

That's a massive improvement in the Americans' standing compared to where they'd be with a second loss in two days.

An ugly third period hit by Canada's Maxime Comtois on United States of America defenseman Ryan Lindgren led to a two-minute boarding call (though there was some discussion about whether it should have been a major and a game misconduct) and that proved to be costly for the Canadians.

PUT ON ICE - Both Canada and the United States have put an emphasis on fast skating for the tournament with the intention of running other teams off the ice. And it also ended the exact same way that last year's gold medal game did - with a shootout victory for the Americans.

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Brady Tkachuk (#7) of the US team, takes a shot on the Canada net in the second period during the IIHF World Junior Championship at New Era Field on December 29, 2017 in Buffalo, New York.

Russia's Klim Kostin continued his strong showing in the preliminary round with two goals against Belarus on Friday afternoon.

Kieffer Bellows and then Brady Tkachuk scored in the shootout for the USA on Canada goalie Carter Hart.

Canada built a 2-0 lead in the first period on power-play goals by Cale Makar and Dube. Oettinger finished with 19 saves on 22 shots in the victory.

Oettinger, a Dallas Stars prospect, had a solid day in net and came up big in the second half of the contest. Casey Mittelstadt was also a considerable factor, collecting an assist on all three of America's goals.

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He now leads all scorers with six points from three games. "We'll enjoy this win tonight but come tomorrow our focus turns to Finland". The dynamic forward is some kind of creator on offense and Buffalo fans have to be pleased with what they've seen so far.

What happens next in the World Juniors?

Canada and United States of America are now both 2-1 through three games, but Canada sits two points ahead since regulation wins are worth more than wins in overtime or shootout. Canada controls their own destiny and will have an easier road to finish out the prelims.

The loss served as more pain for the seven Canadian players - Hart, Clague, Fabbro, Raddysh, Jake Bean, Dillon Dube and Michael McLeod - who were part of the team last winter that lost to the U.S.in a shootout in the gold-medal game in Montreal.

The 2018 World Juniors preliminary round continues through December 31 before relegation in January, which precedes the playoffs.

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Goalie Carter Hart to start for Canada against Denmark at world juniors