Team USA showed their resilience Thursday, coming back from a two-goal deficit in the final 20 minutes to earn a 4-3 shootout victory over Finland at the 2013 USA Hockey National Junior Evaluation Camp in Lake Placid, NY. Quebec Remparts winger Adam Erne (TBL) paced the Americans with a goal and an assist in regulation before scoring the deciding marker in the seventh round of the shootout.
Sabres forward prospect J.T. Compher (2013, second round) logged another determined effort for Team USA, blending offensive creativity with an ability to get under the skin of Finnish defenders thanks to his edgy, up-tempo style. USA’s success at the 2014 IIHF World Junior Championship will hinge on their ability to outhustle the opposition. Compher has yet to crack the scoresheet through four camp games, but his intensity and two-way work ethic at the center position have no doubt caught the eyes of USA’s coaching staff on the eve of his freshman season at the University of Michigan.
In the day’s second game, Gustav Possler (2013, fifth round) saw his two-game point streak snapped as Sweden suffered their first defeat of the week in a 7-3 loss to Canada. Possler maintained his spot on the left side of Sweden’s top offensive line with Alexander Wennberg (CBJ) and Daniel Zaar (CBJ), but the deep Canadian roster backboned by a 38-save performance from Zachary Fucale (MTL) proved too much in the physical affair. Regardless of Thursday’s result, Possler has been a pleasant camp surprise with his quickness and ability to find space in the offensive zone for the young Swedes.
The teams have Friday off before concluding the international exhibition on Saturday. Sweden and Finland face off at 1 p.m. ET, followed by unbeaten Canada versus USA at 4:15 p.m ET. Both games can be viewed on a pay-per-view basis at FASTHockey.com.
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