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MONTREAL — Anyone wondering why Jack Eichel is challenging Canadian phenom Connor McDavids claim of top prospect for the 2015 NHL Draft got their answer in the Americans opening game of the world junior championship. Eichel made a sharp move to set up Alex Tuchs goal in regulation time and snapped one past goalie Ville Husso in a shootout as the United States downed defending champion Finland 2-1 on Friday afternoon. The 18-year-old Eichel seemed to own the puck when he was on the ice, and only a solid game from Husso and some tenacious Finland checking kept the score close. Eichel and Tuch each had five of the Americans 38 shots. Jack is an unbelievable player, said American defenceman Noah Hanifin, who is also expected to be a top-five pick in the draft. Playing against him, you just have to be aware every time hes on the ice. Hes just so explosive, he can make a play any second in the game. Finlands Mikko Rantanen scored 1:22 into the game, before Tuch tied it on a power play at 13:54, for the only goals in regulation time and overtime. In the shootout, Eichel beat Husso on the first shot. Finland captain Artturi Lehkonen tied it, but Chase De Leo got one to win it for the U.S. We battled hard from start to finish, said Eichel, the American captain. We knew it was going to be a tough game. Theyre the defending champions. You have to give them credit. They played a really close checking game. Its really good for us to get the win. Hopefully we can build off it and get some confidence. Most scouting services have McDavid and Eichel ranked one-two for the draft and both will likely figure prominently in the tournament, especially when Canada faces the Americans on New Years Eve. Chances are, the Canadian crowd wont go easy on Eichel. I know well be scrutinized and up against things, he said. But we dont want to let the crowd or any outside distractions get to us. We just want to focus on playing hockey. Finland caused a surprise when Juuse Saros, the hero of last years gold medal performance in Malmo, Sweden, did not get the start in goal. But coach Hannu Jortikka said it was no surprise to anyone watching Finnish hockey. Husso plays in the Finnish league all the time like a number one goalie for IFK Helsinki and hes been unbelievably good season, said Jortikka. We have two top goalies at this moment. When we go a couple of games more, then we must decide who is number one. Finland plays Saturday against Slovakia and faces Canada on Monday. After that, Ill know much more about my team, said Jortikka. Always, when you start a tournament, nobody knows exactly where you are. Everybody is a little bit what is our level? We must play a couple of more games and then well know our level. The Finns scored on the first chance of the game when a mix up between goalie Thatcher Demko and 17-year-old Noah Hanifin left the puck for another draft eligible player, Rantanen. He banked the puck in from behind the net off the skate of 2016 draft eligible centre Austen Matthews. Eichel showed his skill when he played the puck off the boards to himself on a power play, then made a perfect feed to Tuch to tie the game. The Americans had several glittering chances, like Nick Schmaltz missing an open net midway through the second frame, moments after Sonny Milano rang one off the crossbar. Finlands Julius Honka came close 11 minutes into the third on a power play when his point shot got through traffic, but it looked to hit a post. I think it hits the crossbar or something, said Honka. But if we keep playing like that, well score goals. The U.S. outshot Finland 38-29, including 4-1 in the five-minute overtime. John David Crow Jersey . Indeed, must be among the greatest challenges in all of sports. The pressure he applies, from set to set, game to game, point to point, shot to shot. Emmanuel Moseley Jersey . There is no argument that the line of Pacioretty, David Desharnais and Thomas Vanek was one of the hottest in the NHL leading into the post-season, and they did combine for three goals and seven points, but it was the depth of all four lines that helped propel Montreal. http://www.custom49ersjersey.com/custom ... 1668d.html . The trade deadline is Monday, Mar. 2 at 3pm et/Noon pt. TRADES COMPLETED SINCE OCT. 1, 2014: Feb. 15, 2015 Toronto Maple Leafs acquire: F Olli Jokinen, F Brendan Leipsic, 1st Round Pick (2015) Nashville Predators acquire: D Cody Franson, F Mike Santorelli Feb. O. J. Simpson Jersey . -- Damian Lillard couldnt believe when he got a clear look at the rim. D.J. Jones Jersey . According to bodog.ca, Cleveland moved up to grab the best odds to win the Larry OBrian trophy at 4-1 on Friday. By comparison, the Miami Heats odds plummeted from 3-1 favourites before LeBron left, to 50-1.BAIE-COMEAU, Que. -- Philippe Cadorette was spectacular with 40 saves as the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League-leading Baie-Comeau Drakkar crushed the Blainville-Boisbriand Armada 6-1 on Tuesday. Maxime St-Cyr scored twice and Jeremy Gregoire, Bokondji Imama, Felix Girard and Denis Gorbunov added singles for the Drakkar (42-15-4), who moved five points ahead of the second-place Armada. Nikita Jevpalovs broke up Cadorettes shutout bid with a power-play goal in the third period for the Armada (37-14-9), who have lost four straight. Etienne Marcoux allowed five goals on 32 shots before being pulled from the Armadas neet.dddddddddddd Tyler Whiffen took over and gave up a goal on nine shots. --- VOLTIGEURS 4 HUSKIES 3 ROUYN-NORANDA, Que. -- Drummondvilles Georgs Golovkovs scored with just over a minute left in regulation to sink the Huskies. Golovkovs goal was his second of the game, while Christophe Lalancette and Charles-David Beaudoin also had goals for the Voltigeurs (36-20-4). Francis Beauvillier, Mathieu Lemay and Jack Nevins had a goal apiece for Rouyn-Noranda (33-22-5). Louis-Philip Guindon finished with 27 saves for the Voltigeurs, while Alexandre Belanger stopped 20 shots at the other end of the ice. ' ' '
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