Team USA, three players had two-goal games for the U.S. Junior Select Team skated past Canada East, 8-2, here today in an exhibition matchup at the 2015 World Junior A Challenge.
“We did a lot of things right,” said Cary Eades (Fargo, N.D./Fargo Force), head coach of the U.S. Junior Select Team. “We played a strong team game, and we didn’t just sit on a lead, we continued to build on it. It was a really good start to the tournament.”
Canada East opened the scoring 1:27 into the game, but the U.S. responded with a pair of goals from Max Zimmer (Medina, Minn./Chicago Steel) and Grant Jozefek (Chester, N.J./Lincoln Stars) just 44 seconds apart to give the U.S. a lead it would not relinquish.
The Team USA lead extended to 4-1 when Zimmer and Jozefek each netted their second markers of the night in the second period.
A pair of third-period goals, including one on the power play, by Liam Pecararo (Canton, Mass./Waterloo Black Hawks) at 4:20 and 15:54 bookended a tally from John Marino (North Easton, Mass./Tri-City Storm) to make it 7-1 in favor of Team USA. With 1:51 remaining, Jake Wahlin (White Bear, Minn./Tri-City Storm) converted for the U.S. with a shorthanded marker from Carson Meyer (Powell, Ohio/Tri-City Storm).
Lucas Batt scored for Canada East with less than a minute to play to account for the 8-2 final.
U.S. goaltender Kris Oldham (Anchorage, Alaska/Omaha Lancers) turned away 10 of 11 shots in the first half of the game before Ryan Bednard (Macomb, Mich./Youngstown Phantoms) took the net and stopped 15 of 16 shots.
Team USA will open tournament play Monday, Dec. 14 when it takes on Czech Republic at 7 p.m. ET at the Cobourg Community Centre in Cobourg, Ontario.