Canada scored on both of their shooutout attempts, and James Reimer was sharp in the shootout to avoid dropping the decision to the United States, winning 4-3 in the shootout win to retain the International Hockey Lineal Championship at the 2011 World Championships.
Despite outshooting the Americans 14-4 in the first, Ty Conklin was sharp in goal for Team USA, holding the score to 0-0 after first, with James Reimer also pulling a solid start for Canada. Mike Komisarek opened the scoring 4:13 into the second, wiring in a point shot one-timer past his Toronto Maple Leafs teammate Reimer to take the 1-0 lead. Brent Burns would provide the equalizer for Canada three minutes later, knocking in a huge Conklin rebound while falling to the ice to even things up at 1-1. But Blake Wheeler would spring Jack Johnson on a breakaway just over six minutes later, who beat Reimer on a five-hole backhand to take a 2-1 lead into the second intermission.
Canada would answer back again in quick fashion, with John Tavares knocking in a Chris Stewart rebound in mid-air that slowly floated over a sprawling Conklin and in, just 3:27 into the third period. Canada would get their first lead of the game just under two minutes later, with a Jason Spezza blast from the top of the circle beating Conklin during a Kevin Shattenkirk power play to put Canada ahead 3-2. But the U.S. apparently learned a thing or two from Canada’s quick ability to recover, as they themselves tied the game just under six minutes later, with a Wheeler and Derek Stepan back-and-forth passing play resulting in a Stepan wire through Reimer’s five hole to tie things up at 3-3.
Overtime resolved nothing, and Reimer successfully stopped both Johnson and Wheeler on their respective chances. Jordan Eberle already scored on a backhand over Conklin to go ahead 1-0, and with the game on the line, Rick Nash did more of the same, lifting another backhander this time over Conklin’s glove side to win the shootout, and the game with a 4-3 final score.
With the win, Canada retains the International Hockey Lineal Championship it captured from Switzerland in their final preliminary round game. Canada, in their 56th reign as IHLC champions, faces their rivals on Team USA for the 47th time over the IHLC, the first tilt since the incredible 2010 Olympic Gold Medal Game, where Canada retained the IHLC in a thrilling 3-2 overtime victory. Canada next faces Norway in Košice with the IHLC on the line.
01:12 – PEN – Komisarek, roughing
03:15 – PEN – Skinner, tripping
17:07 – PEN – Kreider, holding
24:13 – GOAL – Komisarek (Smith, Conklin)
25:20 – PEN – Fowler, slashing
27:20 – GOAL – Burns (Pietrangelo)
27:57 – PEN – Phaneuf, holding
31:38 – PEN – Johnson, cross checking
33:47 – GOAL – Johnson (Wheeler, Stastny)
41:23 – PEN – Porter, boarding
43:27 – GOAL – Tavares (Stewart, Gragnani)
44:42 – PEN – Komisarek, interference
44:42 – PEN – Kane, high sticking
45:10 – PEN – Shattenkirk, hooking
45:22 – PP GOAL – Spezza (Tavares, Burns)
50:43 – PEN – Clutterbuck, slashing
51:17 – PP GOAL – Stepan (Wheeler)
W: Reimer (17-20)
L: Conklin (48-52)
SHOTS ON GOAL
14+16+17+4+1 = 52
4+7+8+1+0 = 20
Goaltenders: Jonathan Bernier, James Reimer. Defence: Brent Burns, Carlo Colaiacovo, Marc-André Gragnani, Marc Methot, Dion Phaneuf, Alex Pietrangelo, Luke Schenn. Forwards: Cal Clutterbuck, Matt Duchene, Jordan Eberle, Evander Kane, Andrew Ladd, Rick Nash (C), James Neal, Jeff Skinner, Jason Spezza (A), Chris Stewart, John Tavares, Antoine Vermette, Travis Zajac (A).
Goaltenders: Ty Conklin, Al Montoya. Defence: Mark Fayne, Cam Fowler, Jack Johnson, Mike Komisarek (A), Ryan McDonagh, Kevin Shattenkirk, Mark Stuart (C), Clay Wilson. Forwards: Mike Brown (A), Paul Gaustad, Chris Kreider, Nick Palmieri, Chris Porter, Ryan Shannon, Jack Skille, Craig Smith, Tim Stapleton, Yan Stastny, Derek Stephan, Blake Wheeler.