Share this article

print logo

Quick Hits: Team Canada 4, Team USA 2

TORONTO -- The theory was that Team USA was built so it would be best prepared to beat Team Canada in the World Cup. Looks like the domos of USA Hockey need to go back and rethink their philosophies.

Team USA was a complete bust in its two games, ensuring an early elimination with Tuesday's 4-2 loss to Canada in Air Canada Centre. The Americans have a now-meaningless game Thursday against the Czech Republic and then they will disperse, leaving a tattered entry to the history books as one of the most disappointing chapters in recent American hockey history.

Matt Duchene and Corey Perry scored goals in a 14-second span early in the first period and Duchene added another one about six minutes later as Canada took a 3-1 lead and was never threatened again.

Coming in the wake of Saturday's stunning 3-0 loss to Team Europe, Team USA seemed resigned to its fate in this one and offered little resistance over the final 40 minutes. All the pre-tourney talk of jam and grit was rendered moot.

Canada improved to 2-0 in the tournament and advanced to the semifinals. By virtue of the USA loss, so did Team Europe.

International domination: Team Canada has won 12 straight games in best-on-best hockey dating to the 2010 Vancouver Olympics. It won its last four games there -- including Sidney Crosby's Golden Goal game against Team USA in the finale -- and went 6-0 four years later in Sochi. The last loss was a 5-3 defeat to Team USA in the Vancouver round robin.

Through two games: Canada has outscored its foes, 10-2. Team USA has been outscored, 7-2.

Fast start: Team USA did score first in this one, with Ryan McDonagh banging home a loose puck in front of Carey Price at 4:22. A few seconds later, Price stopped Blake Wheeler from the slot to prevent the Americans from going up by two.

Fast rally: Canada tied the game at 5:51 on Duchene's first goal, a backhander off a brilliant play by San Jose defenseman Marc-Eduoard Vlasic. Working from the left point, Vlasic intentionally fired the puck wide to the right of goalie Jonathan Quick so it would pinball off the end boards right to Duchene standing to Quick's left. Perry then scored at 6:09 as Logan Couture's goalmouth pass hit Quick and ricocheted home off Perry's body.

The O'Reilly Factor: Sabres center Ryan O'Reilly played 12:43 and was plus-1 in the game on the fourth line with Duchene and Joe Thornton.

Canada coach Mike Babcock: "We had a really good response (to the Team USA goal). Our fourth line was great."

Two-fer: Duchene made it 3-1 at 12:07 by beating Quick all alone in front after a brutal giveaway by the US tandem of Max Pacioretty and Erik Johnson in their own end.

Fancy stickwork: Team Canada made it 4-1 at 8:50 of the second as on a goal by Boston's Patrice Bergeron, set up when John Tavares stickhandled around Team USA defenseman Matt Niskanen and flipped a pass to the goalmouth that deflected off the Boston forward.

Patrick Kane report: The South Buffalo native played 21:16 and had four shots on goal but was again held without a goal. In one second-period sequence, he overpassed on a 2-on-1 and didn't connect with Zach Parise when he likely should have taken the open lane to the net and shot the puck.

"You can make excuses. You can look at different reasons we lost," Kane said. " Things didn't go our way and we can feel sorry for ourselves but it's just the way hockey is. I'm just really frustrated we're not going to be going on to the next round."

Up next: It's a back-to-back for Team Canada, which plays Team Europe Wednesday night at 8 and Babcock said Chicago's Corey Crawford will be in goal to give Montreal's Carey Price a night off.

Elsewhere in the World Cup I: Florida Panthers defenseman Aaron Ekblad has been ruled out of the tournament with a concussion and will be returning home, a huge loss for Team North America heading into Wednesday afternoon's make-or-break game against Sweden (3 p.m, ESPN). Ekblad was apparently injured in a collision Sunday with Finland's Leo Komarov.

Elsewhere in the World Cup II: Sweden's 2-0 win over Finland earlier Tuesday put it in control of its group, which it can win outright with a victory over Team North America. But after the game, questions quickly turned to Team North America and longtime Vancouver Canucks star Daniel Sedin had plenty to say about the young stars

"Watching those young players from North America has been the most fun I've seen in hockey in a long time," Sedin said. "It's going to be fun to get a chance to play them.. We know how quick and skilled they are but it comes down to playing our way, getting pucks deep and really grinding their D-men. North America is so skilled up and down the lineup. All four lines can skate and deke. You've got to be ready or they can make fun of you. It will be an interesting game."

email: mharrington@buffnews.com

There are no comments - be the first to comment