USA Hockey Jrs End Canada's Jrs' Domination

Andrew FletcherCorrespondent IJanuary 6, 2010

SASKATOON, SK - JANUARY 5:  Derek Stepan #21 of Team USA scores a goal on Jake Allen #1 of Team Canada during the 2010 IIHF World Junior Championship Tournament Gold Medal game on January 5, 2010 at the Credit Union Centre in Saskatoon, Saskatchewan, Canada.  (Photo by Richard Wolowicz/Getty Images)
Richard Wolowicz/Getty Images

Its over! The dominance of Team Canada in the IIHF World Junior Championship is done.

The Canadians lost in the gold medal game versus the United States, capturing the silver medal in a 6-5 overtime heartbreaker.

The Canadian Jrs team has always been a powerhouse in the December classic, winning it the previous five years.

The game was furious battle between the two national rivals as both teams played aggressively across the ice.

Canada was the first to strike with a Luke Adam shovel move that went straight pass U.S. goaltender Mike Lee less than three minutes into the game.

Then the United States showed it came to play. Forwards Chris Kreider and Jordan Schroeder scored goals just 36 seconds apart to take a 2-1.

Nearing the end of the first period, Canada's Nazem Kadri had a nice feed to Greg Nemisz, who netted his first goal of the tournament to tie the game 2-2, going into the intermission.

One of the issues compromising team Canada's game was its top defenseman, Travis Hamomic, could not play in finals due an shoulder injury sustained in the semis versus the Swiss.

Another issue was that Canada took many undisciplined, unnecessary penalties that put the team in the box.

This included Alex Pietrangelo's hit on Jeremy Morin that was launched from behind.  Pietrangelo landed in the penalty box for a minor/major penalty.

Peitrangelo's penalty allowed the U.S. to move to a 3-2 lead early in the second period before Canada responded to tie the match at three goals apiece.

Three goals in seven shots was not a good average for Lee, so he was replaced by Jack Campbell.

The third period was by far the most exciting part of the tournament.

The United States moved to the front after a turnover in the neutral zone saw Jerry D'Amigo take advantage of an odd-man rush to net his sixth goal of the tournament and the fourth for the U.S. in the game.

The US then received a gift from Canadian tender Jake Allen. He fumbled a shot that rebounded to Derek Stepan. With a quick move, he gave the United States an insurance goal that ended Allen's night.

This was a bit of deja vu for the Canadians as they trailed late in the third period against the Americans on New Year's Eve, before making a strong comeback to tie and then win the game in a shootout.

Could they do it twice in a row.

The Canadians' play in the final five minutes of the third period was electric with constant shots aimed at the net.

Then, Jordan Eberle chipped not just one shot pass the American defense, but followed it up just a minute later with a tying goal, which sent the game into overtime.

Eberle's two goals pushed him ahead of 2009 NHL number one draft pick John Tavares to become the all-time scoring leader for team Canada with 14 goals over two years.

The Canadian team actually looked to have it won late in third as Peitrangelo was gifted with an open net. Yet, he missed his chance, which sent both teams into the overtime period.

Canada pressured the Americans early, but the American defense was stellar and kept the home team under control.

Then, Canada's hopes for a sixth consecutive victory in the tournament was terminated as the U.S. went on a three-on-one rush into tha Canadian zone.

John Carlson snipped the puck past Canada's goal line, ending the match with 6-5 victory for the Americans.

Despite the loss, Eberle won tournament MVP honours, leading the tournament with eight goals and 13 points.

Earlier in the day, Sweeden defeated Switzerland in a 11-4 victory to claim the bronze medal.