Photo Credit: JC Pinheiro, Hockey Canada Images
Ontario vs USA Dec 29 2012
Ontario came out strong but only had a 1-0 lead after the first period to show for it. A big part of this was the penalty trouble they got in during the second half of the period resulting in two 5 on 3’s for USA. Team Ontario was able to show off their excellent penalty kill early killing off 3 consecutive penalties. [sociallocker]
USA got on the board early in the 2nd thanks to a backhander in the slot right after the face off from Ryan Hitchcock. Shortly after Windsor Spitfires forward Joshua Ho-Sang unleashed a wrister that just trickled past USA goaltender Chris Birdsall. As USA appeared to be gaining some momentum heading to the poweplay, Mike Dal Colle forced a turnover and Jared McCann took the puck and made an excellent pass to set up a short handed goal scored by Daniel De Sousa. Connor McDavid then scored an outstanding highlight reel goal. It appeared after making it 4-1 Ontario was going to put this game away. However not long after Ontario’s 4th goal, Jack Eichel made a little move to get past the defender and just slipped the puck in for a two goal deficit going into the second intermission.
USA came out strong in the 3rd period as Ryan MacInnis wired a powerful wrist shot past Brent Moran. Jack Eichel buried a wrister from the slot to complete the comeback tying the game at 4’s. That score lasted just seconds as Connor McDavid took over right off the draw making another spectacular play which was finished with a tap in by Sam Bennett regaining the lead for Ontario. Sonny Milano was able to bang home a rebound just after the midway point of the 3rd period to tie the game back up forcing overtime.
In overtime Connor McDavid created a few chances to open up the period. USA responded with Jack Eichel coming very close, however nothing was solved taking this game the distance to a shoot out. The first shooter for USA was Sonny Milano. He was the only one to score giving USA the huge comeback win.
HockeyProspect.com 3 Stars of the Game
#9 – Connor McDavid – Team Ontario
The first is an obvious choice. Connor was absolutely dominant at several points in this game. His exceptional vision, skating and puck skills allowed him to create an incredible amount of scoring chances and on multiple occasions he provided highlight reel plays.
#46 – Jack Eichel – Team USA
Eichel went through a bit of a feeling out process early. You could see the tools right away but as the game neared the midway point, Eichel found his stride. His excellent patience with the puck, ability to evade defenders and powerful shot played an intricate part initiating and completing the USA comeback.
#6 – Jacob Middleton – Team Ontario
HP’s 2nd ranked defenseman for the 2012 OHL Priority Selection draft stepped up huge for Ontario as their best defenseman in game #1 even outperforming highly touted Aaron Ekblad. Jacob was excellent at both ends of the ice moving the puck very intelligently in the offensive zone. Taking the body and performing great in 1 on 1 situations in the defensive zone. His performance was even more impressive due to the lack of ice he’s seen this season due to an injury.