NELSON – Barry Almeida poked in a loose puck past goalie Bryan Gillis at 2:30 of overtime powering Team USA to a 3-2 victory over Canada East in Group B round robin action at the World Junior A Challenge Wednesday at the NDCC Arena on Wednesday.?
The overtime winner was the second game-winning goal in as many nights for the speedy American winger. Almeida scored with five seconds left in the game Tuesday to sink Belarus 7-6 in round robin action Tuesday.?
Team USA now advances to the semi-final Saturday in Nelson. ?
Seconds before potting the game winner, Almeida was stopped by Gillis when the Canada East goalie made a pad save off a rush from the left wing.?
Team USA goalie Josh Robinson held the fort for most of the night for the winners, facing 37 shots.?
Robinson stopped Canada East defenceman Brandon Burlon late in the game when the St. Mike’s player took a shot from the left faceoff circle.?
Canada had a chance on the power play late in the third period when Jack Connolly was whistled for holding the stick. But the power play was short-lived when Jordan Watts (Oakville, ON/ Aurora, OPJHL) went off for Canada East with a roughing penalty.?
Team USA opened the scoring in the first period on the power play when Blake Kessel snapped a quick shot from past Gillis (Elsmdale, NS/ Antigonish, OPJHL) .
Canada East tied the game on the power play when Jeremy Franklin (Bath, ON/ Wellington, OPJHL) tipped a shot past Robinson.?
Starting the second period with the man advantage, Canada took a 2-1 lead less than a minute into the second as James McIntosh (Holland Landing, ON/ Stouffville, OPJHL) scored on Robinson.?
Team USA tied the game six minutes later when a shot by Connolly from the left wing surprised Gillis.?
Canada outshot USA 17-4 in the second as Robinson kept the Americans in the game with several keys saves, including a pad save on Ethan Werek (Stouffville, ON/ Stouffville, OPJHL).
Blake Kessel 2 (Nico Sacchetti 2, Seth Helgeson 1)
Jack Connolly 2 (Jimmy Hayes 1, Blake Kessel 3)
Barry Almeida 2 (Kessel 4)
USA Player of the Game: Josh Robinson.