MALMO, Sweden - Stefan Matteau (Chicago, Ill.), Ryan Hartman (West Dundee, Ill.) and Nic Kerdiles (Irvine, Calif./University of Wisconsin) scored first-period goals, but the U.S. National Junior Team fell to Russia, 5-3, in the quarterfinal round of the 2014 International Ice Hockey Federation World Junior Championship here today.
The United States led 3-2 after the first period, but allowed two power-play goals in the second stanza and an empty-netter in the final minute.
The game changed in that five-minute segment (in the second period)," said Don Lucia, head coach of the U.S. National Junior Team. "We went from being on the power play, up 3-2, to the consecutive five-on-three Russian power plays where they made two some great shots. That's where the game changed."
With the U.S. trailing 1-0, Matteau knocked the puck off the goal line at 8:50 to tie the score after Jack Eichel (North Chelmsford, Mass.) threw it on net from the left edge of the crease. Then, following Russia's second goal, Hartman drove into the zone, took a pass from Matteau in the slot and beat Russian goaltender Andrei Vasilevski with a backhander to make it 2-2. Kerdiles then scored at 16:51 put Team USA out front, 3-2. After batting the puck out of the air just inside the offensive blue line, Kerdiles fired a fluttering shot from the slot that beat Vasilevski between his right arm and body.
Team Russia responded with a pair of five-on-three, power-play tallies in a 1:01 span midway through the second period to take a 4-3 edge into the final stanza. Team USA pressured for the equalizer in the third period, but an empty-net marker with 28 seconds remaining in regulation capped the scoring and secured the Russian victory.
Goaltender Jon Gillies (South Portland, Maine/Providence College) finished with 20 saves.
NOTES: The U.S. has medaled in three of the last four IIHF World Junior Championships, including gold in 2013 and 2010 and bronze in 2011 ... Don Lucia (Plymouth, Minn.), head coach of the University of Minnesota men's ice hockey team, is the head coach of the 2014 U.S. National Junior Team. Bob Motzko (St. Cloud, Minn.), head coach of the St. Cloud State University men's ice hockey team, Greg Brown (Scituate, Mass.), associate head coach of the Boston College men's ice hockey team, and David Lassonde (Denver, Colo.), assistant coach of the University of Denver men's ice hockey team, are the assistant coaches. Dan Muse (Clinton, Conn.), assistant coach of Yale University's men's ice hockey team, is serving as the team's video coordinator... 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 fifth consecutive year ... Don Waddell (Detroit, Mich.), an international consultant to USA Hockey, is assisting with player identification for Team USA