Canada’s youth team have grabbed a playoff spot at the World Junior Hockey Championships edging their American coevals 2-1.
Edmonton Oilers starlet Ryan Nugent-Hopkins broke the deadlock midway through the first period, claiming his eighth point at the tournament.
Seven minutes later, center forward Ryan Strome doubled Canada’s lead, making the most of Brett Ritchie’s clever assist from behind the goal and thus joining Finnish forward Markus Granlund at the top of scoring charts on four goals.
The US answered with a goal of their own in the third period courtesy of Jacob Trouba, but instead of the final assault the Americans condemned themselves to shorthanded play collecting four fouls in the final minutes of play and left empty-handed.
The win returns Canada to the top of Group B and their Monday clash with hosts, the so-far undefeated Russia, will decide who will go straight into the semis. Meanwhile, the US will battle it out with Slovakia on Monday for the third playoff spot.