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U.S. Hockey Closes With Shootout Loss To Canada

Jan. 4, 2000

SKELLEFTEA, Sweden – The United States hockey team jumped out to a 2-0 lead on Canada but needed a late goal to force overtime before ultimately losing in a shootout, in Tuesday’s bronze-medal game at the World Junior Championship.

The United States (2-3-2) received a first-period, shorthanded goal from Northeastern winger Willie Levesque and a second-period score from Boston University winger Daniel Cavanaugh. But Canada scored the next three goals of the game, claiming a 3-2 lead with eight minutes left in regulations, before Minnesota defenseman Jordan Leopold tied the game on a power-play goal with 2:54 left to play.

U.S goaltender Phillipe Sauve (Buffalo, N.Y.) made 33 saves–including 17 in the third period–while Canada’s Brian Finley countered with 35 stops, including seven in the 10-minute overtime session.

Canada converted on three of its first four shootout attempts, with second-line winger Jamie Lundmark, second-line center Brandon Reid and second-line winger Dany Heatley each beating Sauve on “the most exciting play in sports”. Michigan center Andy Hilbert missed the first U.S. chance before Boston University defenseman converted his chance. But Minnesota center Jeff Taffe and Cavanaugh both missed, ending the shootout after four attempts from each team (3-1).

The U.S. cashed in just one of 10 power-play chances while Heatley gave Canada a 3-2 lead with its only power-play goal of the game (on just three man-up chances).

In the past four World Junior Championships, the U.S. has held its own versus its northern rival. The U.S. posted a 4-4 tie and 2-0 loss vs. Canada in the 1996-97 World Juniors (in Germany and Switzerland) before beating Canada 3-0 in the 1997-98 playoff round (in Finland). Last year, the U.S. beat Canada 5-2 in round-robin play, while the teams played to a 1-1 tie in round-robin play four days ago on New Year’s ago. All told, the U.S. has two wins, two losses (one in a shootout) and two ties in six games versus Canada during the last four World Juniors, with a 17-13 scoring edge in those games (not counting the shootout goal).

Three Notre Dame players wrapped up their three-week stint with the U.S. team and will join the Irish in time for the upcoming CCHA home series versus Lake Superior. Freshman Connor Dunlop again centered one of the top U.S. lines, winning nine of his 16 faceoffs while taking two shots on goal and finishing the game with a -2 plus-minus ratio. Irish sophomore center Brett Henning lost his only faceoff on Tuesday while sophomore winger David Inman again skated as one of the 13 U.S. forwards.

Levesque notched his first point of the tournament midway through the first period, scoring shorthanded at the 10:03 mark. Cavanaugh then notched his second goal of the tournament early in the second period, assisted by Taffe (4:28).

Canada chipped away with a goal three minutes later, as first-line winger Matt Pettinger scored, with an assist from fourth-line winger Michael Ryder (7:36). Canada tied the game at the 8:38 mark of the third period, with Chris Nielsen scoring off an assist from fellow third-line winger Tyler Bouck.

A high-sticking penalty on Maine winger Barrett Heisten set up Heatley’s go-ahead goal, with an assist from Reid (52:04).

But Taffe–whose late goal forced the earlier tie with Canada-set up Leopold’s first goal of the season five minutes later, after a high-sticking penalty on second-line defenseman Kyle Rossiter.

Lundmark opened the shootout by beating Sauve with a fake to the netminder’s left. Reid then put Canada up 2-0 with an identical move on Sauve.

Aufiero pulled the U.S. to within 2-1 by beating Finley with a high wrist shot. But Heatley regained Canada’s two-goal edge by firing a shot through Sauve’s legs.

After Taffe and Canada’s Eric Chouinard failed to score, Finley clinched the victory by stopping Cavanaugh’s backhand attempt.


  • The U.S. forward lines on Tuesday included the following: Michigan State’s Adam Hall-Hilbert-Harvard ‘s Brett Nowak
  • BU’s John Sabo-Henning-New Hampshire’s Pat Foley
  • Cavanaugh-Taffe-Heisten ? Levesque-Dunlop- Wisconsin’s Brad Winchester
  • the defensive pairings included: Boston College’s Brooks Orpik and Michigan’s Jeff Jillson, Maine’s Doug Janik and Colorado College’s Mike Stuart, and Leopold and Aufiero
  • the team’s last two players included Inman and UMass-Lowell D Ron Hainsey
  • Dunlop’s tournament stats included a team-best faceoff percentage (.639, 69-of-108), three penalties, 10 shots on goal and a -4 plus-minus ratio
  • Henning won 14 of his 37 faceoffs in the tournament (.378)
  • Inman’s tournament stats include two penalties and six shots on goal
  • the U.S. power play hit at 13.2 percent in the tournament (5-for-38) while the U.S. penalty kill owned a 86.8 percentage (33-of-38).
USA     1    1    1    0    0    -    3Canada  0    1    2    0    1    -    4

(Canada wins on shootout)

1st Period – USA 1. Willie Levesque (unassisted), SHG, 10:03.
2nd Period – USA 2. Daniel Cavanaugh (Jeff Taffe) 4:28, CAN 1. Matt Pettinger (Michael Ryder) 7:36.
3rd Period – CAN 2. Chris Nielsen (Tyler Bonck) 8:28, CAN 3. Dany Heatley (Brandon Reid), PP, 12:04, CAN 3. Kyle Rossiter, USA 3. Jordan Leopold (Jeff Taffe), PP, 17:06.

Shots: USA 10-11-10-7/38, CAN 9-5-19-3/36.
Saves: USA, Sauve (9-4-17-3/33), CAN, Brian Finley (9-10-9-7/35).
Power Play: USA 1-for-10, CAN 1-for-3.
Penatlies: USA 10 for 20:00, CAN 3 for 6:00.