Vancouver Sun

Loss to Russia for second straight year leaves U.S. juniors with bitter taste

- Christophe­r Curtis, Postmedia News

MONTREAL — Anthony DeAngelo clenched his jaw and looked straight ahead, focusing on nothing in particular, as though he could see through the cameras, microphone­s and reporters. He answered questions politely, but it was clear the American defenceman struggled to contain the shock that came with being eliminated from the world junior hockey championsh­ip for a second year in a row. Both defeats came at the hands of Team Russia. Asked what he thought the other team did better than his, DeAngelo refused to concede anything to the Russians, who won the quarter-final 3-2. “I don’t think they were better than us anywhere, to be honest,” DeAngelo said. “I think we had more zone time, they had a couple of chances they finished and we didn’t. I don’t know what the shots wound up being, but I thought we had control of the play, control of the pace.” Team USA outshot the Russians 41-25, dominated puck possession for most of the game and had a few bad bounces go against them. The Americans can curse all the bad karma, bad vibrations or voodoo trickery they want, but in the end, they were the architects of their own misery on Friday. Penalty trouble in the first period put the Americans in an early hole. Russian forward Sergey Tolchinsky picked off an opposing defenceman and made a break toward the American zone. He stickhandl­ed beautifull­y, cutting between two more defenders toward centre ice. The Americans have shown time and time again that they can shut down these kinds of individual rushes and organize a quick counteratt­ack. But this time, Tolchinsky hit a second gear and was just about to bust loose when Tyler Motte hooked him to prevent a scoring chance. Mere seconds into the ensuing power play, Ryan Collins accidental­ly hit Tolchinsky with a stick to the face, setting up a drawn-out 5-on-3 advantage. Russia scored after Ivan Barbashev pounced on a rebound in front of goalie Thatcher Demko. The Americans were penalized another three times in the first period alone, conceding a second goal.

Defending champs out

TORONTO — Adrian Kempe’s powerplay goal at 1:24 of the third period held up as the winner as Sweden eliminated defending champion Finland 6-3 in quarter-final action on Friday. Sweden will play Russia in the semifinals. Lucas Wallmark struck twice for Sweden — including an empty-net goal with four seconds left in the third period — and Toronto Maple Leafs draft pick William Nylander had two assists. Gustav Forsling, Oskar Lindblom and Adam Brodecki also scored.

Slovakia shuts out Czechs

MONTREAL — Michal Kabac scored in the first period and Denis Godla had a 34-save shutout as Slovakia defeated the Czech Republic 3-0 in the quarterfin­als on Friday. Peter Cehlarik added a goal in the third frame and Martin Reway had an empty-netter for Slovakia.

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