January 1, 2011

World Juniors: U.S. earns semifinal spot

Campbell backstops victory over Switzerland

PR Wire Report

U.S. goalie Jack Campbell made 25 saves to beat Switzerland, 2-1. (photo: Tom Szczerbowski/Getty Images)

BUFFALO, N.Y. — Jack Campbell made 25 saves and Mitch Callahan scored the game-winning goal, as the U.S. National Junior Team edged Switzerland, 2-1, Friday night in its fourth and final preliminary-round game of the 2011 International Ice Hockey Federation World Junior Championship.

Team USA finished in first place in Group A with a 3-1-0-0 (W-OTW-OTL-L) record, guaranteeing the United States a spot in the semifinal round. The United States will face the winner of the quarterfinal matchup between Canada and Switzerland at 7:30 p.m. Monday.

"I thought our team defense was excellent tonight," said Keith Allain (Worcester, Mass.), head coach of the U.S. National Junior Team. "It helps to have Jack back there, and that gives us confidence moving forward."

Campbell leads all tournament goalies who have played greater than 40 percent of their teams' total minutes with a 1.03 goals-against average and .957 save percentage.

Switzerland got on the board first, but Team USA tied the score midway through the first period. With the United States on the power play, Charlie Coyle (East Weymouth, Mass./Boston University) threw a backhand pass from behind the net to Chris Kreider (Boxford, Mass./Boston College), who buried a shot low to the far post.

The U.S. scored the game-winning goal midway through the second period. With Team USA cycling the puck in Switzerland's zone, Callahan jammed the puck past Switzerland goalie Benjamin Conz on a wraparound attempt for his first goal of the tournament.

Despite Switzerland's efforts to even the score in the third, Campbell shut the door for his fourth win of the tournament. Meanwhile, Conz finished the night with 40 saves in a losing effort.

Team USA's semifinal game Monday night will be televised on NHL Network U.S. and streamed live on USAHockey.FASTHockey.com.

NOTES: Ryan Bourque (Boxford, Mass./Quebec Remparts) was named Team USA's player of the game. ... Team USA finished 1-for-3 on the power play, while Switzerland was 0-for-1 with the man advantage. ... In other action, Sweden earned the first seed in Group B with a 6-5 shootout win over Canada; Finland blanked Slovakia, 6-0, to claim the second seed in Group A; and Russia claimed the third seed in Group B with an 8-3 win over the Czech Republic. For a full tournament schedule and ticket information, visit BuffaloWorldJuniors.com. ... Additional information on Team USA, including a team blog, stats and a media guide, can be found at USAHockey.com.