Although handily outshooting the Americans 40-25, the third period ended in a 4-4 tie. Overtime solved nothing as both goaltenders Darcy Kuemper and Keith Kinkaid stood on their heads stopping countless scoring opportunities.
Following IIHF rules, the game went to a shootout and the same shooter for the United States, Cam Atkinson, scored both goals for the Americans, propelling USA to a 5-4 shootout win.
After successfully shooting for the Americans to open the shootout, Atkinson pulled yet another filthy move from his bag of tricks, winning the contest in the fifth round.
Team Canada captain Connor McDavid, was in the penalty box upon completion of overtime, so he was not permitted to participate in the game-deciding shootout Friday morning. Sam Gagner scored Canada’s only goal in the shootout, while Pierre-Luc Dubois, Ryan O’Reilly, Anthony Beauvillier and Colton Parayko contributed to Canada’s four goals.
The 2018 version of Team Canada features two young Manitobans – Brandon’s Joel Edmundson, defenceman for the St. Louis Blues, and Grandview’s Ryan Pulock, defenceman for the New York Islanders. Neither player picked up points or penalties in the opening game.
Canada’s netminder, Darcy Kuemper stopped 21 of 25 shots he faced, before giving up the two goals on five attempts in the shootout. Keith Kinkaid of the United States stopped 36 of 40, and four of five in the shootout.
The United States will face the host Denmark on Saturday at 1:15 P.M., while Canada has the day off, and resumes action on Sunday against North Korea at 5:15 A.M. central time. All games are available to watch on TSN.
By Carter Brooks
Photo by Marco Leipold/Getty