Лучшие три хоккеиста сборной на чемпионате:
Джимми Хоуард, Джастин Фолк, Пол Штясны
Главный тренер: Скотт Гордон (49 лет)
Teams USA Takes Positives From World Championship
May 17, 2012
By Brian Pinelli
Special to USAHockey.com
HELSINKI, Finland – Considering its preliminary round success and manner in which it quickly meshed together over the past few weeks, Team USA’s 3-2 quarterfinal loss to host Finland was obviously a disappointing end to the 2012 IIHF World Championship.
With nine seconds remaining and the game tied, Finland’s Jesse Joensuu scored to give the home nation the lead and ultimately a dramatic victory.
Perhaps a few breaks went in Finland’s favor in the third period contributing to the U.S. defeat – most significantly captain Jack Johnson being forced to play defense without a stick, while Mikko Koivu scored the tying goal off his skate with just under seven minutes remaining.
Although the goal went to video review, it was ultimately allowed.
2012 quarters 2“The stick broke in half in the beginning of the shift,” explained Johnson. “I couldn’t get off, I couldn’t get a stick. One guy tried to give me a stick, but it was right handed, so we’re both worthless. I played the whole shift without a stick.”
“They were lucky enough to get a couple of bounces,” said Kyle Palmieri who scored Team USA’s first goal at 13:48 of the second period, just 21 seconds after Finland had opened the scoring. “It’s a tough loss to swallow, especially coming in the final seconds, but we just have to move forward.”
“It’s a frustrating and disappointing,” said Johnson. “I thought we deserved a couple of power plays in the third period. We’ve played better games in the tournament.”
One of those games was clearly this past Sunday’s 5-0 victory over Finland. However, the defending world champion showed resiliency Thursday outshooting the U.S. 31-26, including 14-7 in the final frame.
“I think that we carried the play for most of the game,” said Johnson. “We had plenty of opportunities to win the game. Their goalie played well and they played better defensively than they did last game.”
Despite Thursday’s loss against Finland, many positives come out of the team’s overall performance in Helsinki: a 6-1 preliminary round record, the best opening effort by a U.S. squad since 1939; 17 different U.S. players contributing goals, evidence of their selfless play; valuable international experience gained for members of a team averaging just 25 years-of-age, and a thrilling overtime victory against rival Canada.
“I think our guys felt that we had a good tournament and the disappointment of losing a game like tonight is obviously difficult,” said U.S. Head Coach Scott Gordon. “We had a great group of guys and to end like that wasn’t anything that we expected.”
“It was a great experience here; obviously a great honor to represent your country and be one of the guys awarded to play for Team USA,” said 22-year-old forward Cam Atkinson about competing on his first world championship team.
There was also nothing but praise for Team USA captain Jack Johnson.
“He’s been there since day one for me and he’s been a huge mentor,” said Atkinson about Johnson, whom he also skates with on the Columbus Blue Jackets. “He’s been around the block so whatever he tells me to do, I do and good things happen from that. He’s really a great leader and I look up to him for that.”
“That’s why we love him,” said Coach Gordon when asked about Johnson’s energy, heart and passion for the game. “He loves to play hockey and comes over here without hesitation. He’s not waiting to see if he has to get an MRI or anything like that. He’s the one making the phone calls saying that he wants to come.”
For Johnson, who contributed three goals and an assist, while averaging nearly 24 minutes of ice time during the eight games in Helsinki, there will surely be more opportunities in the future.
“I’m anxious to come back again,” said the 25-year-old from Ann Arbor, Mich. “I’ve been in this tournament quite a few times and we just can’t seem to get over the hump. It’s frustrating and it just keeps you wanting to come back for more to get over that hump.”
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