USA World Jr. hopefuls top Sweden
Kreider, Bourque help Americans get off to fast start in Lake Placid
Rangers prospects Chris Kreider and Ryan Bourque helped Team USA beat Sweden 6-3 on Tuesday afternoon at the USA National Junior Evaluation Camp at Lake Placid, N.Y. The game was the first of four for the 28 players trying to earn spots on the 2011 U.S. World Junior team.
|Rangers prospect Chris Kreider poses with two young Rangers fans outside the arena in Lake Placid, N.Y., shortly before Kreider and his U.S. hockey teammates faced Sweden on Tuesday.
Kreider and Bourque did not figure in the scoring on Tuesday, although both played key roles and saw a lot of ice time in the Americans' victory. Bourque was particularly valuable in what turned out to be a very chippy game, as he blocked shots and killed penalty after penalty for the U.S., while also taking many key defensive-zone faceoffs.
The Americans stormed out to a 4-0 lead with four goals in the opening period's first 4:05, essentially putting the game away. Minnesota Wild prospect Jason Zucker notched the game's first goal at the 1:16 mark, and Derek Forbort, a 2010 first-round draft pick of the Los Angeles Kings, made it 2-0 just 1:20 later.
Only 31 seconds after Forbort's goal, it was 3-0 on the strength of a Justin Faulk power-play goal, and San Jose prospect Charlie Coyle stretched the lead to 4-0 just 58 seconds after Faulk scored.
Sweden, however, refused to fold. The Swedes lifted goalie Robin Lehner for backup Fredrik Petterson-Wentzel and went on to score the game's next three goals, coming as close as 4-3 on a Jacob Josefson tally at 11:31 of the middle period.
|Rangers 2010 sixth-round pick Jesper Fasth is competing for Sweden this week in Lake Placid.|
The penalty-filled third period featured 14 total minors and was particularly frustrating for Kreider, the Rangers' 2009 first-round pick who is entering his sophomore season at Boston College. Kreider was whistled for diving at 8:40 of the third and was later sent off for tripping at 15:23.
It was a rough game for Rangers prospect Jesper Fasth of Team Sweden. Fasth, the Blueshirts' 2010 sixth-round pick, was hit hard behind the U.S. net by Adam Clendening during a delayed penalty at 10:34 of the second and was down for several seconds before skating off woozily. Fasth, who plays for HV-71 of the Swedish Elitserien, had scored a goal in his country's win over Finland on Monday.
Team USA returns to the ice at 4 p.m. on Wednesday to face the Finns.