Rink and Run blog: USA U 18 Gets into Title Game
By: Kevin Pates, Duluth News Tribune
Wednesday's recap from USA Hockey on a 5-0 win over Finland in the World U-18 Championships semifinals in Belarus. Minnesota Duluth recruit Justin Faulk had an assist:
Team USA to Face Russia or Sweden Friday at 11 a.m. CDT
MINSK, Belarus – Nick Shore (Denver, Colo.) notched three points (2-1) and Jack Campbell (Port Huron, Mich.) earned a third consecutive shutout as the United States defeated Finland 5-0 Wednesday in the 2010 International Ice Hockey Federation World Men's Under-18 semifinals. With the win, the U.S. earned a spot in Friday's gold-medal game for the second straight year and will face Sweden or Russia Fat 11 a.m. CDT at Minsk Arena.
"Another solid 60-minute effort to outplay a team with the talent and determination of Finland," said Kurt Kleinendorst, head coach of Team USA. "We have worked our way through the tournament and are now in a position to accomplish the goal we set for ourselves back in September. I really like where we're at as a team."
Team USA jumped out to a 1-0 lead at 5:44 of the opening frame. Brandon Saad's (Gibsonia, Pa.) shot rang off the cross bar and bounced to Shore, who slipped it past netminder Jonathan Ilhati on the left side. Campbell turned aside all five shots he faced in the first period to keep Finland off the board.
Campbell helped his own cause in the second stanza when he poked the puck to Bryan Rust (Bloomfield Hills, Mich.), who sent a long pass to a streaking Matthew Nieto (Long Beach, Calif.). Nieto then sped around a defender and flipped a backhanded shot inside the left post to make it 3-0 at 6:19. Team USA received a four-goal cushion with just one second remaining in the middle period after Shore found a wide-open Adam Clendening (Niagara Falls, N.Y.), who wired a shot into the upper-right corner of the net.
The U.S. kept the pressure on Finland in the final frame. Justin Faulk (South St. Paul, Minn.) intercepted a pass in the neutral zone, skated down the right wing and slid the puck to Shore, who backhanded it past Ilhati at 9:22 to give the U.S. a 4-0 lead. Just 1:34 later, Jarred Tinordi (Millersville, Md.) rifled a slap shot through a screen and behind Ilhati to cap the scoring. Campbell made six saves in the third period to preserve the shutout.
Nick Shore was named Team USA's Player of the Game.