The USA vs. Canada matchup was the premier game of Group A, but despite a strong performance from Boston College goalie Thatcher Demko, Team USA fell in Montreal to the host team, 5-3.
America suffered its first loss of the tournament at the hands of the Canadians, but both teams will be through to the playoff round of the tournament which begins on Friday.
Neither team scored in the first period, but the floodgates began to open in the second for Team Canada, who had forced Demko to make over 20 saves in the opening frame. The first goal of the contest was scored by Canada’s Max Domi after the Eagles goaltender moved out of position and freed up enough net for the score.
With Canada ahead 1-0 at the 7:07 mark of the series, they were able to double their lead just a few minutes later after Team USA’s Dylan Larkin took a high sticking call. Josh Morrissey beat Demko to give Canada a 2-0 lead on the power play.
The Americans got one of those goals back with 6:48 remaining in the second thanks to an Anthony DeAngelo goal, but Team USA entered the third period at a 2-1 deficit. They also entered the final period on the penalty kill, as Boston College commit Miles Wood was called for slashing at the very end of the period.
Canada’s Curtis Lazar got the third Canada goal about ten minutes into the final period to make it 3-1 in favor of the home team. That call came with some controversy, as it appeared Lazar made contact with Demko and should have been called with goalie interference. However, the officials reviewed the goal and upheld it.
Late in the period, with America looking flat offensively and Canada on cruise control, Sam Reinhart scored for the Canadians to make it a 4-2 game on an empty-netter. Dylan Larkin scored 12 seconds later, assisted by Boston College defenseman Noah Hanifin, to surprisingly make it a one-goal game again at 4-3.
Yet, Max Domi scored his second of the game on another empty-netter with four seconds to play, and Canada sealed their 5-3 victory.
USA vs. Canada: Demko Does As Best He Can
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The Americans looked outclassed offensively by the Canadians, getting outshot by a 43 to 28 margin. Thatcher Demko made 38 saves in the loss and that included some very good ones. For the first period and a half of the game, Demko looked about as good as we have seen him; if that Demko finds its way to Conte Forum, Boston College just might make a run of it in the second half of the season.
USA vs. Canada: Hanifin Gets BC’s Consolation Prize
It seems clear that Team USA got the shaft on the Lazar goal, but it matters not as America is through to the quarterfinals.
Though Demko took a hard-luck loss on New Year’s Eve, Noah Hanifin got the assist on Larkin’s late goal to get at least one point for a Boston College Eagle in the game. Hanifin now has two assists for the tournament so far.