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May 24, 2024

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World Junior Tournament In Finland

Alex Nedeljkovic (Parma, Ohio) stopped 25-of-27 shots to help the U.S. National Junior Team earn a 4-2 victory over Canada in the opening game for both teams at the 2016 International Ice Hockey Federation World Junior Championship in Helsinki, Finland. “I liked our effort overall,’ said Ron Wilson, head coach of the U.S. National Junior Team. “It’s just the first game, but certainly a good way to begin the tournament.”

Photo: USA’s Zach Werenski #13 celebrates with Charlie Mcavoy Jr. #25 and Auston Matthews #34 after scoring Team USA’s second goal of the game during preliminary round action at the 2016 IIHF World Junior Championship. (Photo by Matt Zambonin)

Team USA used the last 2:40 of a scoreless first period and the first 2:20 of the second stanza to successfully kill off a five-minute penalty in what was a key stretch of Team USA’s victory.

Team USA took its first lead of the game when Zach Werenski (Grosse Pointe Woods, Mich.) fired a wrist shot from the blue line through a screen on a U.S. power play. Three minutes later, however, Canada responded with its own power play goal to even the score 2-2.

Will Borgen (Moorhead, Minn.) then sent a pass to Louie Belpedio (Skokie, Ill.), who deflected a shot from the point off a Canadian defenseman’s stick and redirected it into the net. Less than a minute later, Auston Matthews (Scottsdale, Ariz.) extended the U.S. lead to 4-2 when he pushed home a loose puck in the Canadian crease.

Michigan sophomore defenseman, Zach Werenski has been named captain of the 2016 U.S. National Junior Team, USA Hockey announced. He will be lost to the Wolverines for the GLI. In addition, defenseman Louie Belpedio and forwards Auston Matthews and Colin White were tabbed alternate captains of the squad. The International Ice Hockey Federation World Junior Championship is being held from Dec. 26-Jan. 5 in Helsinki, Finland.

By Raymond Rolak
Rolco Sports & Entertainment