By Jason La Rose, Hockey Canada
FORT ST. JOHN, B.C. – Brendan Brisson scored twice and added two assists, Gunnarwolfe Fontaine had a goal and two helpers and the United States rode a five-goal second period to a 7-3 win over Canada East on Wednesday night at the 2019 World Junior A Challenge.
The win keeps the U.S. unbeaten and in first place, while the Canadians suffered their first loss. It also improves the Americans’ all-time record against East to 14-2, including nine straight wins.
In all, six U.S. skaters scored goals and 12 recorded a point.
Nearing the close of an end-to-end first period, both teams found the back of the net.
Brisson opened the scoring for the Americans when his shot hit an East body in front and eluded goaltender Devon Levi (Dollard-des-Ormeaux, Que./Carleton Place, CCHL), but Jérémy Laframboise (Sainte-Catherine, Que./Longueuil, LHJAAAQ) found a streaking Ryan Tverberg (Richmond Hill, Ont./Toronto Jr. Canadiens, OJHL) and he tucked a forehand around U.S. netminder Logan Stein just 37 seconds later.
Ryan O’Hara (Oakville, Ont./Oakville, OJHL) gave the Canadians their first lead early in the second period when his shot got a piece of Stein and trickled over the line, but the middle frame was all U.S. after that.
Grant Silianoff tied it at 7:06, snapping a quick one-timer past Levi off a cross-ice feed from Rhett Pitlick, and Brisson put the Americans ahead for good with a power-play goal at 13:37.
The floodgates opened from there, with three goals in just over three minutes.
Josh Groll went post and in past Levi, Trevor Kuntar poked in a loose puck after a point shot from Mitch Miller squeezed through the Canadian goaltender, and Sean Farrell jumped on a rebound for another man-advantage marker with just five seconds left in the period.
That was all for Levi, who gave way to Owen Say (London, Ont./Powassan, NOJHL) to start the third period.
Laframboise got one back on a Canadian five-on-three with eight minutes to go, but Fontaine answered with a shorthanded marker just 45 seconds later to finish the scoring.
Both teams will wrap up the preliminary round on Friday; the U.S. is first, taking on Russia (2 p.m. MT) followed by Canada East matching up with the Czech Republic (7 p.m. MT).
Photo credit: Matthew Murnaghan/Hockey Canada Images