U.S. Men Run to 10-7 Win Over Canada to Open FIL Tourney
COMMERCE CITY, Colo. - Eight straight goals helped the United States open the 2014 FIL World Championship, presented by Trusted Choice, with a big win over Canada, its championship game opponent in each tournament since 1998. Flipping a 3-0 deficit early in the second quarter to an 8-3 lead deep in the third, the run powered an eventual 10-7 victory for the defending world champion.
|Photo Gallery: USA 10, Canada 7|
|Chris Eck and Greg Gurenlian combined to help Team USA take 12 of 21 draws. (Scott McCall)|
Midfielder Paul Rabil – the Best and Fairest Player (MVP) of the 2010 world championship in Manchester, England – sparked the rally, assisting on two of the first three scores and scoring unassisted on the fourth goal to give Team USA its first lead of the day. He added another late as the U.S. held off the pesky Canadians, who scored three of the final four goals to keep the pressure on as time wound down.
Jesse Schwartzman and Team USA's defense kept a very good Canada offense in check. The Canadians were held scoreless over a 30-minute stretch during the U.S. run. Schwartzman made seven saves to earn the win, while Team USA allowed Canada just 20 shots on the night, compared to 40 that its offense generated.
Team Canada goalie Dillon Ward was outstanding in the losing effort, totaling 18 saves to help his team keep it close despite the U.S. run. Canada's offense just ran dormant for that long period and never could get closer than within three of the U.S. Zack Greer scored twice for Canada, while Mark Matthews had a goal and an assist.
Rob Pannell and Kevin Buchanan, with two goals and an assist apiece, both also had solid games in their world championship debuts for Team USA. In total, seven players scored goals for coach Richie Meade’s squad. Six of the 10 goals were assisted.
Both teams have an off day as the rest of the tournament kicks off with games all dayFriday. Team USA looks to stay perfect in Blue Division play with Australia – third place in 2010 – on Saturday at 5 p.m. Canada takes on England at 8 p.m. immediately following that contest.
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