Flames prospect Parsons starts for U.S. in big WJC tilt against Russia

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Tyler Parsons, who backstopped the U.S. past Switzerland in the quarterfinal round, has been tabbed by head coach Bob Motzko as the starter for today’s big semifinal tilt against Russia, per NHL.com.

Parsons, taken 54th overall by Calgary at last year’s draft, has largely split netminding duties with Leafs prospect Joe Woll, who beat Canada in the group phase and has the highest save percentage (.935) in the tournament.

Parsons has been the lead dog, however, getting five games to Woll’s three, including the aforementioned quarterfinal win over Switzerland. Parsons was arguably the best U.S. player on Tuesday — despite only facing 16 shots, he made several tough saves late to push the Americans to a narrow victory.

The 19-year-old now gets another shot at defeating the Russians in this tournament. Parsons made 25 saves in a 3-2 win back in the group stage and, per fellow Flame Matthew Tkachuk — who Parsons played junior with in OHL London — the talented ‘tender was full value for the win.

“He was unbelievable in the game against Russia,” Tkachuk said, per the Flames’ website. “In my opinion, he won them that game.”

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