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Russia Defeats United States 2-1 on Friday

A third period goal by the Russians was the difference.

Bruce Bennett

The US World Junior team suffered their first loss of the tournament on Friday morning when they lost to the host Russians by a score of 2-1. It was a tight, low-scoring affair throughout, but a Russian goal midway through the third period, with the score tied, was the difference, as the US was unable to mount any serious scoring chances after that.

The loss moves the United States(3 points) into third in Pool B behind Canada(six points) and Russia(five points), and is likely where they will finish pool play.

Positives for this one for the United States included goalie John Gibson who was stellar in net, and I really like the defensive pairing of Jacob Trouba and Shayne Gostisbehere. In the negative column, the lack of scoring is obviously a huge concern. The line of Johnny Gaudreau-Rocco Grimaldi-JT Miller isn't producing like the US would have hoped, and other lines aren't necessarily picking up the slack. Mike Reilly got the nod as the sixth defenseman and really struggled in the third period, including giving up a scoring chance on the game-winning goal, and giving up a couple more chances that would have been goals if not for brilliant saves by Gibson.

The US will get an off day tomorrow before heading into a big meeting with Canada at 4:30am EST on December 30th.