LAKE PLACID, N.Y. - USA Blue opened the first day of international play at the 2012 USA Hockey National Junior Evaluation Camp day with a thrilling 5-4 victory over Finland that included a hat trick by Mario Lucia(Plymouth, Minn.). USA White ended the afternoon with a 5-1 loss to Sweden. Both games were held at the Olympic Center's Herb Brooks Arena.
"I think the blue team did an excellent job of pursuing the puck on the forecheck and made some great transition plays," said Phil Housley, head coach of the 2013 U.S. National Junior Team. "They were in a tight game and they found a way to win, so that was intriguing to me. They stuck to the game plan. The white team, I thought they got a little frustrated. At times they had some great pressure but I think they got away from the game plan and took some unnecessary penalties, which cost us. Sweden is a very elite team, a very good transition team. We have a lot of work to do. We haven't had any practice time so I'm looking forward to tomorrow to implement some more system work."
The 40-plus players attending the weeklong camp are auditioning for spots on the U.S. National Junior Team that will compete in the 2013 International Ice Hockey Federation World Junior Championship, Dec. 26, 2012-Jan. 5, 2013, in Ufa, Russia.
To begin game one, Finland took a 1-0 advantage at 8:39 of the first period. Over the next three minutes, USA Blue retaliated with goals at 9:04 and 11:20 to take a 2-1 lead. Lucia got his team on the board with a power-play tally at 9:04, while Sean Kuraly (Dublin, Ohio) scored his fourth goal of the week at 11:20.
Lucia potted his second goal of the day at 3:59 of the second period when he finished off a give-and-go play by Stefan Noesen (Plano, Texas) and Patrick Sieloff (Ann Arbor, Mich.).
Finland bounced back in the latter stages of the second period with goals at 13:00 and 16:52 to make it 3-3.
Alex Galchenyuk (Milwaukee, Wis.) put USA Blue back in front at 6:25 of the third period, stickhandling around traffic in front before finding the back of the net.
Finland forced the third tie of the game (4-4) with 4:21 to play on Juuso Ikonen's second goal of the afternoon.
Lucia won the game and completed his hat trick with 35 ticks left on the clock as he rushed the puck up ice on a three-on-two break, looked off passes to either side and lined a shot over the goalie's blocker from the hash marks.
In game two, Sweden got out to a 2-0 lead over USA White on power-play goals at 5:40 and 19:46.
USA White halved its deficit to 2-1 on a power-play goal by Mike Reilly (Chanhassen, Minn.) at 3:23 of the second stanza. Alex Broadhurst (Orland Park, Ill.) and Stefan Matteau (Chicago, Ill.) set up Reilly for the one-tme blast.
USA White had three more power plays during the rest of the second period but did not capitalize. Meanwhile, Sweden cushioned its lead to 4-1 after 40 minutes with tallies at 9:44 and 17:43.
The Swedes capped off their 5-1 win with a goal 15 minutes into the third period.
The United States has a practice day on Tuesday (Aug. 7), before returning to action on Aug. 8 against Finland.
NOTES: Use the hashtag #njec on Twitter to join the conversation surrounding this week's camp ... The online home for the 2012 USA Hockey National Junior Evaluation Camp, including the Team USA roster and online bios, can be found by clicking here ... All games from the 2012 USA Hockey National Junior Evaluation Camp are being streamed live and are available on demand at FASTHockey.com ... The 2013 U.S. National Junior Team will be selected in late December following a pre-tournament camp from Dec. 19-23 to be held in Helsinki, Finland ... Phil Housley (South St. Paul, Minn.), head boy's ice hockey coach at Stillwater (Minn.) High School, is the head coach of the 2013 U.S. National Junior Team. He is assisted byMark Osiecki (Columbus, Ohio), head men's ice hockey coach at Ohio State University and Grant Potulny(Minneapolis, Minn.), assistant men's ice hockey coach at the University of Minnesota ... Greg Brown(Scituate, Mass.), assistant men's ice hockey coach coach at Boston College, Joe Exter (Columbus, Ohio), assistant men's ice hockey coach at Ohio State University, Tony Granato (South Hills, Pa.), assistant coach for the National Hockey League's Pittsburgh Penguins and Don Lucia (Plymouth, Minn.), head men's ice hockey coach at the University of Minnesota are also participating in Lake Placid as camp coaches ...Jim Johannson (Colorado Springs, Colo.), USA Hockey's assistant executive director of hockey operations, is serving as the general manager of Team USA for the fourth consecutive year. Tim Taylor (Guilford, Conn.) is the director of player personnel.
GAME SUMMARY 1
Scoring By Period
First Period - Scoring: 1, FIN, Armia (Leino), 8:39; 2, BLUE, Lucia (Kuraly, Noesen), 9:04 (pp); 3, BLUE, Kuraly (Blackwell, Skjei), 11:20. Penalties: FIN, Tikkinen (high sticking), 8:50; BLUE, Carrick (hooking), 12:51; BLUE, Galchenyuk (tripping), 15:38.
Second Period - Scoring: 4, BLUE, Lucia (Noesen, Sieloff), 3:59; 5, FIN, Maatta (unassisted), 13:00; 6, FIN, Ikonen (Maatta, Aatolnen), 16:52. Penalties: BLUE, Gostisbehere (interference), 6:23; BLUE, Sieloff (high sticking), 7:28; Blue, Reid (hooking), 9:23; BLUE, Schmaltz (hooking), 19:02.
Third Period - Scoring: 7, BLUE, Galchenyuk (Gaudreau, Blackwell), 6:25; 8, FIN, Ikonen (Aaltonen), 15:39; 9, BLUE, Lucia (Schmaltz), 19:25. Penalties: BLUE, Noesen (slashing), 3:35; FIN, Armia (roughing), 7:24; FIN, Salomaki (cross checking), 20:00.
Shots by Period
| || || || || |
|USA Blue, Gibson, 31:45||7/8||3/3||0/0||10/11|
|Finland, Ullberg, 60:00||5/7||6/7||6/8||17/22|
Power Play: USA Blue 1-2; Finland 0-7
Penalties: USA White 7-14; Finland 3-6
GAME SUMMARY 2
Scoring By Period
First Period - Scoring: 1, SWE, Aberg (Boyce Rotevall), 5:50 (pp); 2, SWE, Zibanejad (Aberg), 19:46 (pp). Penalties: WHITE, Matteau (slashing), 5:30; SWE, Klefbom (interference), 7:54; WHITE, Bardreau (tripping), 17:42; WHITE, Trocheck (roughing), 19:38.
Second Period - Scoring: 3, WHITE, Reilly (Broadhurst, Matteau), 3:23 (pp); 4, SWE, Arvidsson (unassisted), 9:44; 5, SWE, Rask (unassisted), 17:43. Penalties: SWE, Lundberg (boarding), 1:23; SWE, Arvidsson (interference), 7:29; SWE, Zibanejad (interference), 13:22; SWE, Arnesson (slashing), 15:03.
Third Period - Scoring: 6, SWE, Rask (Arvidsson, Lundberg), 15:00. Penalties: WHITE, Nelson (interference), 4:10; WHITE, Hartman (hooking), 10:51; WHITE, Miller (unsportsmanlike conduct), 10:51; WHITE, Bardreau (tripping), 15:33; SWE, Arnesson (boarding), 18:26.
Shots by Period
| || || || || |
|USA White, Sparks, 29:41||12/14||9/9||0/0||21/23|
|Sweden, Lundstrum, 60:00||88||13/14||4/4||25/26|
Power Play: USA White 1-6; Sweden 2-7
Penalties: USA White 7-14; Sweden 6-12