A young American team has improved to 2-0 after beating Canada in the highly anticipated Group A men's hockey match 4-2.
USA will look to officially win the group with a win against Germany on Sunday. The win comes just two days after the Americans shut out China 8-0, while Canada was looking to build off of a big 5-1 win over Germany. Canada will round out the preliminary round against China on Sunday.
Regardless of the final result, Canada struck first at 1:24. Eric Staal and Josh Ho-Sang did some work to get the puck out to Mat Robinson near the boards, with the defenseman sending a harmless-looking shot towards the net. American netminder Strauss Mann wasn't prepared for the shot and it went in, giving Canada the 1-0 lead.
USA's captain answered back in a big way a minute later. Andy Miele blew past a Canadian defender and backhanded the shot over Edward Pasquale to tie the game up.
Pasquale struggled to look comfortable, and he'd surrender the next two goals. Ben Meyers scored at 18:44 after Pasquale slipped in the crease behind a scramble in front, with Meyers tipping the puck in.
At 22:37, things went from bad to worse for Canada. Brendan Brisson scored after Nick Shore stole the puck off of Pasquale behind the Canadian net, getting the puck to Brisson in the slot for the 3-1 goal.
Canada, though, wouldn't leave the second without adding another on the board. With Eric Staal in the box, Daniel Winnik set up Corban Knight on the shorthanded rush at 34:13 to make it 3-2.
Goaltending was a concern for Canada, with Pasquale struggling to look comfortable. That was amplified on USA's fourth goal when Kenny Agostino took a shot from far out that trickled past Pasquale and in for the 4-2 goal.
Canada desperately did whatever they could to get themselves back into the game. With under five minutes left, Canada found themselves on a two-man advantage, using the point to help generate offense. Canada came up short there and ultimately couldn't get the job done, with the United States holding on for the 4-2 victory.