World Juniors: USA scores 2 late third-period goals for 4-2 win over Canada
Illinois native Louie Belpedio scores the game-winner.
Louie Belpedio and Auston Matthews scored 41 seconds apart to rally the United States to a 4-2 win over Canada in the opening day action at the Helinksi Ice Hall at the 2016 World Junior Championships in Finland.
Belpedio, a Skokie, Ill. native, lifted a shot past Canadian goaltender Mason McDonald's glove side with 3:18 left.
It is the first win for the US over Canada, the defending champion, in the preliminary round since 1998. Alex Nedelijkovic stopped 27 shots in the win.
Colin White, Zach Werenski and Matthews each added a goal and an assist. Matthew Barzal and Dylan Strome answered for Canada.
Canada looked to have a golden opportunity to get on the board late in the first when Alex DeBrincat was assessed a five-minute major for spearing Travis Konecny in front of the Canadian bench. The OHL's goal-scorer was tossed from the game. Yet, assistant coach Chris Chelios, a former Blackhawk, rallied US from the bench to kill the penalty.
Julien Gauthier scooped up the puck by Nedelijkovic and sent a pass to Barzal, who roofed it in for the opening tally at 5:06 of the second period. Following the goal, the Canadians amped up the pressure and dominated the puck possession.
Sonny Milano put the Americans on the board at 16:33. Milano rocked a shot off the end boards and past McDonald, and bounced out to White, who backhanded it in. Werenski, the US captain, gave the US the lead with a shot past McDonald's blocker at 7:22.
Strome killed the Americans momentum with a top shelf equalizer on a power play at 10:45 to send the Canadian faithful into a frenzy.
Matthews iced the the victory by jabbing home a loose puck behind McDonald.
The Americans return to the ice 8 a.m. Monday against Sweden, who defeated Switzerland 8-3 in their opening game. Canada plays Demark next at noon Monday.