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USA vs. Canada – Saturday, August, 10, 2013 @ 1pm EST
#3 Dillon Heatherington – D: Big sized D-man that did not add a lot to the mix on this day. A defensive styled player that plays with grit in his game.
#5 Michael Matheson – D: He is a smooth skating D-man that handles the puck well and makes good outlet passes. Uses his edges well and can wheel the puck up the ice too. He took a slashing penalty late in the first period that put Canada down two players that led to goal. But then again he wasn’t the only one. He did manage to get an assist on Canada’s only goal as he made long across ice pass through the neutral zone to Petan at the far blue line, who then hit Reinhart in slot from wall for goal. Was somewhat surprised Coach Sutter did not give Matheson some power play time as Dumba/Pouilot did not perform to task this game.
#6 Damon Severson– D: He is a good sized blue liner that showed some nice poise and demeanor with the puck. In one play, he noticed the Canada was a little out of sync in breaking out, thus took the puck and circled back to re-group the troops for an effective outlet and gain into the offensive zone. Like many of the Canadian D-men on this day, they sometimes got puck watching and caught out of position. [sociallocker]
#7 Josh Morrissey – D: He looked average on the day which saw him get some PP time on 2nd unit along with Severson. Makes good outlet passes and can move the puck up the ice himself, though did not do anything special in the game. He was caught out on ice like all Canadian D-man for a goal or two.
#9 Hunter Shinkaruk – F: He seemed to be the sole player on Team Canada that kept plugging away, moving his feet, and playing with energy. He showed nice skating ability, agility, and offensive moves to try to create opportunity. If I had to give Canada a player of the game, Shinkaruk would have been my call.
#12 Tom Wilson – F: He made his presence known right away as in the first or second shift laid out a nice open ice hit on the forecheck. He showed some skills but then kind of disappeared with his physical presence after the early going and became a non-factor.
#14 Max Domi – F: He is definitely a smooth player and smart player as well. Like many players on Team Canada, they seemed to hit a wall in the endurance department. He played alongside a couple of young talents in McDavid and Reinhart. At the outset, some chemistry was there in the 1st period. Although it appeared Domi was trying to get a little too cute and pulling out the saucer passes too much. He has great hands and offensive instincts though on this day should have played with a little more sandpaper.
#15 Derrick Pouliot – D: He seemed to struggle in this contest a bit, especially when pressured at all in his own zone. He was panicking a tad with the puck by just firing puck out of zone instead of productively head manning the puck to an open teammate. You can see the offensive thoughts and ability to create opportunity, but like his partner Dumba, appeared not mentally prepared for this one. While on the PP, USA’s Fasching cleared the puck deep into Canada’s zone and Pouliot went to retrieve but was simply outmuscled and smarted by USA’s Shore as he beat Pouliot to the puck and scored from the slot. The defensive awareness meter needs to be turned up a notch.
#17 Connor McDavid – F: He certainly has the skills and smarts of a potential first overall in 2015. While only being 16-years old, he is probably still growing into his body and will become even more potent in the years as he physically develops. In the first period, he showed some decent chemistry with Domi on the left and Reinhart on the right side. The pivot is smart with puck, protects it well, and shows offensive instincts. On the PP he quickly took puck off goal line to the net to create a scoring chance. You like that he gets in the mix and will take the puck into traffic. He was on the receiving end of an open-ice hit by USA’s Santini as be crossed the blue line. His ice time seemed to diminish after the contact and you wonder if coincidence or by coaches choice.
#18 Felix Girard – F: He was the extra forward on the game and played with some energy and grit on the forecheck. He did not show a lot of offensive skills, but played a decent two-way game.
#19 Nic Petan – F: He isn’t big though he shows good offensive thoughts. He has those crafty skills but like many Canadian teammates came and went during the game with inconsistency. He made a nice primary assist on Canada’s only goal to Reinhart breaking into the zone down the slot from the wall after receiving long pass at blue line. It was that awareness and little touch pass. He showed the presence of mind to get the puck into the zone and as pressure came to him, he simply laid a nice pass to a streaking Reinhart.
#20 Sean Monahan – F: He was one of those players that although not on top of his game and on the score sheet, made some nice plays. You can see he has great hockey sense and was wheeling the puck down the wing and trying to be a playmaker. He has good stick skills and can see why he went in the first round in this year’s past draft.
#21 Scott Laughton – F: He is another of the many first round selections on Team Canada and showed an overall decent game on this day for a down Canadian team. He along with line mates, Horvat and Shinkaruk, circled the puck a few times nicely and Laughton was able to show his quick release for a couple scoring opportunities. The only problem was USA’s goalie, Gillies, was on top of his game reading plays, challenging shooters thus Laughton was denied on a few occasions.
#22 Frédérik Gauthier – F: Do not think it was one of the best outings for the big forward. He looked a step behind in the skating department and was easily managed off the puck by the American D-man, even by a smaller Grzlecyk in the offensive zone like nothing. Came away disappointed in his game.
#23 Sam Reinhart – F: From the get-go it looked like the highly talented line of Domi, McDavid, and Reinhart would be on the score sheet for a few each. Although, Reinhart was the only player on entire team to light the lamp. In the third period when the game was out of reach, Reinhart spoiled the shutout bid by entering the offensive zone in the high slot and taking the pass from the wall by Petan on his backhand. It was a shooters goal as Reinhart showed a quick release by beating Gillies over the blocker with a swift, snapshot.
#24 Mathew Dumba – D: He is a defenseman you hear so much about, especially since a 1st round selection. Personally, I thought his game was overrated. He and D-partner, Pouliot, were sloppy at times in their own zone with any pressure of a forecheck. He skates average and there were at times lateral mobility and pivoting looked weak. He was constantly placed on the 1st unit PP and nothing really amounted. Actually at one point a short-handed goal was given up to Team USA. He did manage to walk in from the point and blast off a rocket that USA goalie Gillies got a piece of and made acrobatical save with his glove before puck crossed goal line. He made some questionable decisions with pucks and overall the game is far from being smooth and polished for a 7th overall pick.
#25 Darnell Nurse – D: A big sized D-man and another player on my list of 1st rounders that I question the skill level. The skill level appears average as his mobility, stick skills, and passing are nothing that appears elite for a Top 10 pick. Sure he might have a heavy shot because of his large frame and weight, although utilizing it effectively is another question. He plays to be a shutdown D-man by using long reach and playing physical. In this game his was actually overpowered after a whistle on a play by a smaller USA forward DiPauli, as he bear hugged and threw Nurse down to the ice. Overall, Nurse was average player today but did not show a lot of high end talent.
#26 Curtis Lazar – F: Lazar played with some energy in this game as he was willing to throw his body around as well as working the corners and battles along the wall. He got in hard on the forecheck on one play and threw a nice open ice hit on American D-man Skjei, knocking big D-man down. He did not show a whole lot of offense. He skates well and takes care of his defensive responsibilities. He did take bad offensive zone slashing penalty in front of net as looked like a lack of discipline got the best of him.
#28 Brendan Leipsic – F: Like many of the Canadian players, looked to show flashes of skill but then disappear. He created a nice offense chance finally in the third period as he showed speed down the off-wing and then cut it hard to the middle to the slot, firing a quick shot though Gillies closed the door. Not big in size but was willing to throw his body around too.
#29 Bo Horvat – F: He is a strong two-way player that will battle everywhere on the ice, takes care of his duties in the D-zone first, but also shows offensive promise. He looked to get Canada on the board in the 2nd period on the PP as he received a pass down low at the side of the net and quickly cut across the top of crease, but USA goalie Gillies was up to the task as he quickly kicked out right pad denying Horvat what looked to be sure goal. He shows great compete level with decent skills all-around.
#30 Jake Paterson – G: From the outset of this game you would have thought Paterson was pitching the shutout for sure, not because of his stellar performance but because he was not tested for the first nineteen minutes. Then penalty trouble hit Team Canada in last minute of the 1st period and two 5-on-3 1-timers later it was 2-0. Paterson first got beat from the right circle and then the left. He just seemed a bit off on the reaction time, perhaps because of the lack of shots early, and then he never really recovered mentally to track his game. The third goal he appeared sleeping as USA’s Shore outraced his D-man Pouliot to the slot for puck and rang one off post and in shorthanded fashion. The forth USA goal both defenseman and Paterson were all thinking an Erne shot down low off the side of net, but he quickly slid across the crease to a breaking in Shore who quickly buried it. Paterson reaction and play reading was questionable again. The fifth American goal by Matteau was on a 2-on-1 as the shooter kept the puck. Paterson seemed to cheat a bit and play the potential pass, but it never happened and Matteau snapped it home. The goals were not entirely Paterson’s fault though when saves needed to be made he was absent.