OSHAWA, Ont. – Jack Roslovic (Columbus, Ohio/Manitoba Moose) tallied a goal and an assist and nine other U.S. players registered a point as Team USA defeated Switzerland, 4-3, here tonight in a pre-tournament game ahead of the 2017 International Ice Hockey Federation World Junior Championship. The U.S. will play its second and final pre-tournament game against the Czech Republic at the Rogers K-Rock Centre in Kingston, Ontario, on Friday, Dec. 23. Puck drop is set for 7 p.m. ET.
“To win as a team right off the bat is great and I thought there were times tonight where our style of play really showed what we can be capable of,” said Bob Motzko, head coach of the 2017 U.S. National Junior Team. “The game was what we expected — a lot of positives and a lot of little things that can and will be fixed. We’re happy to have this game under our belt as we get closer to making some decisions before the tournament begins.”
Team USA opened the scoring just 2:17 into the contest when Jeremy Bracco (Freeport, N.Y./Kitchener Rangers) swiped home a rebound in the crease off a shot from the point by Casey Fitzgerald (North Reading, Mass./Boston College). Switzerland answered just 1:34 later when Damien Riat beat Tyler Parsons (Chesterfield, Mich./London Knights) with a one-timer from the slot.
Joey Anderson (Roseville, Minn./Univ. of Minnesota-Duluth) regained the U.S. lead with just under three minutes to play in the period when he collected a loose puck above the crease and tucked it under the crossbar for the go-ahead goal.
The U.S. made it 3-1 on a two-on-one opportunity when Roslovic tapped in a pass from Erik Foley (Mansfield, Mass./Providence College) at the far post with 6:05 remaining in the middle stanza.
Just 3:47 into the final frame Switzerland’s Dominik Diem scored on a slap shot from the point to cut Team USA’s lead to one.
Tage Thompson (Orange, Conn./Univ. of Connecticut) made it 4-2 when he tallied on the power-play off a pass from Clayton Keller (St. Louis, Mo./Boston University) with 7:01 to play in the game. A goal by Switzerland’s Nico Gross with 7.7 remaining accounted for the 4-3 final.
Parsons, who started the game for Team USA, finished with 21 saves on 24 shots.
NOTES: The United States outshot Switzerland, 32-24, while going 1-for-3 on the powerplay and 2-for-2 on the penalty kill … USA Hockey will announce the final roster for the 2017 U.S. National Junior Team by Dec. 24 … The U.S. will continue training camp here in Oshawa, Ontario, before its final pre-tournament game against the Czech Republic on Friday, Dec. 23 in Kingston, Ontario … Jim Johannson (Colorado Springs, Colo.), USA Hockey’s assistant executive director of hockey operations, is serving as the general manager of Team USA for the eighth consecutive year … Bob Motzko (St. Cloud, Minn.), head coach of the 2017 U.S. National Junior Team, is joined behind the bench by assistant coaches Greg Brown (Scituate, Mass.), Grant Potulny (Minneapolis, Minn.), Kris Mayotte (Pittsburgh, Pa.) and Steve Miller (Colorado Springs, Colo.) … Use the hashtag #USAWJC on Twitter to join the conversation about the 2017 U.S. National Junior Team … At the 2017 IIHF World Junior Championship, the U.S. will compete in a group with Canada, Latvia, Russia and Slovakia. All U.S. games will be broadcast live on NHL Network.