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US Loses to Host Russians 4-3 to Open World U18 Tournament

Late goal helps Russians to victory.

JT Compher scored a key third period goal to tie the Russians.
JT Compher scored a key third period goal to tie the Russians.
Bruce Bennett

The United States opened up their World U-18 championships tournament with a stiff test against the host Russians, and fell by a score of 4-3 after the Russians scored with less than two minutes remaining in the third period to secure the win.

The game was tied at two after two periods thanks to US goals from Jack Eichel(BU recruit), and Will Butcher(Denver recruit). The Russians edged ahead by a score of 3-2 in the third period, before American JT Compher(Michigan recruit) tied the game at three apiece with a shorthanded goal with about five minutes remaining.

But the Russians would get the last say, scoring with just under two minutes remaining on a goal by Vladimir Tkachyov to take a decisive 4-3 lead. Compher appeared to knot the game again with a minute to go, but the goal was waved off after a review.

The US will get tomorrow off, before facing off against the Czech Republic on April 20th. The opening loss is disappointing, but not necessarily that damaging to Team USA's gold medal hopes. Eight of the ten teams in the tournament advance to the quarterfinals, so how a team performs in the first week of the tournament really isn't as important as the second week.