For what was set up to be another memorable World Juniors rematch between Team USA and Team Canada, it wound up being a laugher Thursday in Ufa, Russia.
Team USA jumped out to a quick 2-0 lead after the first period thanks to captain Jake McCabe and ran away up 4-0 after two on their way to a 5-1 win over Canada to earn a spot in Saturday’s gold-medal game of the World Junior Championships.
McCabe, a defenseman from the University of Wisconsin, seemingly took his role as team captain seriously getting the Americans out in front to stay, and it was Boston College’s Johnny Gaudreau scoring twice while Harvard’s Jimmy Vesey added another to lead the offense.
Team USA was able to chase Canadian starting goalie Malcolm Subban from the game after he allowed four goals on 16 shots. Backup Jordan Binnington would do well in relief stopping 25 out of 26, giving up only a third period goal to Gaudreau. Meanwhile, Kitchener Rangers star goalie John Gibson played a memorable third period to make it all stand up for the U.S.
With their backs against the wall, Canada brought everything they had in the final period pouring 16 shots on goal. The only one to slip past Gibson was a shorthanded goal from Ty Rattie, but it would be the only blemish on Gibson’s day as Team USA got a bit of payback after losing to Canada in the opening round of the tournament.
Team USA will face Sweden in Saturday’s gold-medal game. The Swedes beat host Russia, 3-2 in a shootout, in the other semifinal.
Meanwhile, Canada will face Russia for bronze.
The Arizona Coyotes have returned Dylan Strome to the Erie Otters of the OHL.
Strome, 18, was the third overall pick in the 2015 NHL draft.
The 6’3, 185 pounder was hoping to stick with the Coyotes this season, but the team decided to take the conservative approach with their top prospect.
Strome will look to build off an incredible junior season that saw him score 45 goals and 129 points in 68 games.
Strome seems to be taking the demotion in stride.
The team also announced that they’ve assigned goaltender Louis Domingue and forward Matthias Plachta to their AHL affiliate in Springfield.
Domingue, 23, had a 1-2-1 record with a 2.73 goals-against-average and a .911 save percentage in seven games last season.
Plachta, a free agent signing, will begin his first pro season in North America. The 24-year-old had 14 goals and 35 points in the German League last season.
The Red Wings have placed Pavel Datsyuk, Darren Helm, Danny DeKeyser and Alexey Marchenko on injured reserve.
Placing these players on I.R. opens up four more roster spots for Detroit.
The Red Wings have suffered an incredibe amount of injuries heading into the season.
Datsyuk (ankle) is expected to be out until November.
DeKeyser (foot) is going to miss three-to-four weeks, while Helm (concussion) and Marchenko (lower-body) are considered day-to-day.
The team also announced that they have reduced their training camp roster to 27 players on Sunday.
Top prospect Dylan Larkin remains in camp for now.
Coach Jeff Blashill told reporters that the 19-year-old has looked good, but a final decision hasn’t been made on where he will play this year.
As for Larkin, he’s just fed up of living in a hotel.
“There’s been so much speculation and so many questions, and no one really knows,” said Larkin. “Maybe the coaches know, but just to find out where I’ll be living or what’s happening — I’m kind of sick of the hotel. It would be nice to know what’s going on.”