Team USA defeated Team Russia 4-3 in a shootout Wednesday night in Montreal to advance to the Championship Game of the Hockey World Juniors Thursday night at 7 p.m. CT against Canada.
The final score against Russia barely even scratches the surface of the intensity and excitement of the game. The teams traded goals all the way until the shootout. In the shootout, USA had three do-or-die attempts. It wasn’t until the 7th round that Troy Terry sealed the game with his third shootout goal in three tries.
The USA team is firing on all cylinders. They haven’t lost a game in the tournament yet, including a 3-1 over Canada on New Years Eve and hadn’t even trailed until the semifinal.
Additionally, USA captain and Wisconsin Badger Luke Kunin hadn’t been producing at an elite rate during the first four games of the tournament. In the last two games though, Kunin has scored big goals to help his team advance. Rather than Kunin, the team has been led by Boston University student-athletes Clayton Keller and Jordan Greenway, who lead in scoring.
Both Team Canada and Team Sweden would be an extremely tough test for the Americans. While the U.S. has already beaten Canada, it is always difficult to beat the same team twice in such a short span. Plus, Canada is still probably the most talented team in the tournament. Meanwhile, Team Sweden is a perfect 5-0 so far and have looked as good, if not better, than the Americans.