Editor’s Note: What follows is a live blog of the US – Canada U19 Championship game from Turku, Finland. It’s great live, and it serves as a great game report as well! Team USA takes the title!
FINAL – USA 10 – Canada 8 - Canada scores a consolation goal, but The US wins their 7th straight U19 World Championships after suffering their first, and second, losses ever in group play. The US dominated on face offs and ground balls, and put together some great individual and team goals to beat a talented team of Canadians.
USA 10 – Canada 7 - More possession. 1:14 left in the game. US calls timeout again. THEN Canada calls for a stick check, and the US is now man down, but still in possession. Canada doubles, eventually creates a turnover, misses a chance in transition, but keeps possession. Then Canada actually tries to restart the game with two balls in play, but the ref stops them. Ha. Trying to the end, I actually love that. Time out Canada.
USA 10 – Canada 7 – The Canada goalie comes out to double, the US is able to outrun the defense and put one in on the doorstep for a 3-goal lead. US actually loses a face off, then gets called for a penalty. Canada man-up. Canada gets a look, but a Steven Jouhelka check knocks the shot wide and Turri wins the race to the end line. US possession, timeout USA. Just under 2 minutes left.
USA 9 – Canada 7 - Long possession by the USA… on man up. 7:30 left in the game. The US does shoot from time to time, but they are rips away from the net, and they always have back up. 6 on 6 now, expect more stalling with the two goal lead. And fouls. Those are likely. WRONG! Turnover, Canada ball. Canada possesses for 1:30, the a save by Kyle Turri gives the US the ball back with 4:30 left in the game. Back to stall mode. Chants of USA fill the stadium.
USA 9 – Canada 7 – Dodge the middle from up top, roll back, behind the back loop pass, double overlap runs, give and go, kick it down the side, look to the middle, quick stick. Goal Canada. Beauty.
USA 9 – Canada 6 – US wins the face, begins with possession. Canada penalty. US works the ball around on the man up, then gets an inside cut look, Canada save and successful clear. All even. Canada possession is slow, deliberate, and eventually generating good looks. Canada is clearly trying to dodge short sticks from behind right now. They switch it up, dodge from up top and the US creates a turnover. The US then turns it over on the break and Canada recovers.
End of the 3rd Quarter – Canada gets some chances but can’t convert. With 5 seconds left they get the ball on a restart and dodge hard to the cage, but the shot doesn’t find its mark. Still 9-6 USA over Canada as the 4th quarter begins.
USA 9 – Canada 6 - Canada is really trying to isolate now, but the US defenders are pushing them back to their weak hands and using their athleticism well. Canada finally isolates from up top and gets a decent look, but with no angle, down on the crease. Save high for the USA. US clears the ball. Canada makes a save, clears and shoots immediately. US ball, 1:30 left in the 3rd.
USA 9 – Canada 6 - The US wins the face off, gets a long possession and then runs a two man play from up. The man with the ball keeps it, splits the double with a swim dodge and rips a sweet goal high to put the US up by 3 with 7 minutes left. US wins next face off… again.
USA 8 – Canada 6 – The US clears the ball and keeps it going in transition. The lefty face dodge with transition numbers to top cheddar shot pays off and the USA goes back up by 2. A Canadian pole was hurt on the play but has walked off under his own power.
USA 7 – Canada 6 – On a botched clear, Canada corrals the ball from 12 yards out, feeds the crease, and one times it in for a goal to go down by only 1 goal. US wins possession on the face, drops to their defensive end and clears the ball with 10 minutes left in the third quarter. The feed is back, the world rejoices. Yay!
USA 7 – Canada 5 – Connor Obusek scores for the US to increase their margin back to two goals. Goals are coming hot and heavy now! Great ball movement by the US, and a great catch and shoot from the right wing by Obusek.
USA 6 – Canada 5 – Now the game is getting really good, and the feed is, of course, down. Zack Currier scores to make it a two goal game, and then Joel Tinney scores again to cut the lead to one goal. Canada is rolling with three straight!
USA 6 – Canada 3 – Joel Tinney with the goal to put Canada within 3 of the US early in the 3rd quarter. The video feed, which has been sketchy all week is now down. I’m not complaining about the feed, and I love that they tried, but I had to pay $24.95 to not watch games… not that awesome.
Scrum Aftermath – Ok, a Canada player and a US player have each been given 2-minute penalties for unsportsmanlike conduct, it seems. And that’s it. It didn’t look that bad actually… makes sense. 5 on 5, face off to begin the second half.
Halftime Scrum – Of course there was a scrum. It’s US-Canada lacrosse. Right before halftime, the Canadian keeper makes two huge saves to stave off the US. Then one player loses his helmet, the there is pushing, then a Canadian ends up on the ground, then the US players run off the bench to pull their teammates away, Canadians stay on the bench.
A little more pushing and then a very obvious flop by a Canadian player, who is quickly escorted off the field by the refs. Flags were definitely flying, and someone is getting some sort of penalty.
Hate to leave you hanging, but that’s all we know for now. Second half promises to be even better, right?
40 Seconds left in the first half – The US has possession, time out is called. On the last Canada possession, they look aimless. It was weird. No cutting, no dodging… just stagnant play. Canada will need to weather this last US possession and get it together in the second half to have any shot at a comeback.
USA 6 – Canada 2 – US midfielder takes a nice dodge down the lefty alley and sticks on high to high through a couple of players. US wins next face off, and ground balls and face offs are killing Canada right now.
Save… SAVE! – Canada gets a good look, huge save by the US keeper. Then the US goalie, Zack Oliverri, throws the ball right back to a Canadian player who walks in all alone… and another HUGE SAVE! That was crazy. I’m not sure if the goalie was even back in the crease, but the Canadian player ran right at him. Bizarre. Still 5-2, US with possession.
USA 5 – Canada 2 - 5 on 5 for 30, Canada goes man up, gets a good look and the US clears the ball off a shot. Pushing transition the ball ends up in a US attack man’s hands and he puts one in man down for a big three goal lead. Great team play and speed by the USA on that goal. 7 minutes left in the first half.
USA 4 – Canada 2 - Canada gets called for the penalty, and just when you think the US will pull it out, Stephen Pontrello pulls a ridiculous face dodge off and stick the ball in the tightest of corners. The US wins the next face off, then flags fly and then the refs wave their arms like crazy and confer. Canada gets called for the push, and the US gets called for the slash.
USA 3 – Canada 2 – The US uses a nice little 3 man weave tight on the crease to get a good feed from X to a cutter. Leonard puts it away and the US is up 1. Nice hands by Team USA on that goal.
USA 2 – Canada 2 – 5 minutes in to the 2nd quarter. US has possession and a slash is called on Canada. US drops the ball and then goes on the man up. The US settles for outside shots, turns the ball over and a long possession by Canada results in a good look, but a save. US clears the ball and starts their possession on offense. Another turnover, Canada ball. And MORE back and forth… US ball now. A little sloppy here. Time out Canada with a little over 13 minutes left in the first half.
Interesting note: At this point, Canada has not won a face off.
End of 1st Quarter – Game tied at 2. US withstood a good chance by Canada at the end, but the US keeper was up to the task and covered the low shot. A small pile up at the end, but everyone got up without incident.
USA 2 – Canada 2 – In transition, Canada ties it up. This is going to be a great game. I can feel it. After the goal, the US gets the ball, gets called for a ward, turns it over, and Canada runs the hidden ball. It doesn’t work. After a long possession filled with passing set ups and dodging set ups, the US creates a turnover, the turns it over, then Canada gets called for a push in the back. US ball.
USA 2 – Canada 1 – Wowzers. US comes right back and scores 2 to go up by a goal with 7 minutes left in the 1st quarter. Epic take down the middle results in the US’ second goal. US gains possession off the face off and clears from their defensive end.
Canada 1 – USA 0 – Canada strikes first on a nice pass from up top to a crease man, who caught the ball used his body to protect the stick, and then turned and fired one high for the early lead. Canada gains possession again and settles on offense with 12:30 left in the first quarter. Good possession by the Canadians is cut short by an illegal pick call.
And… we’re off. 3 minutes into the game and it’s all zeros. Lots of running and the teams are feeling each other out, even though they know each other well at this point.