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2013 US U18s

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04-24-2013, 01:54 PM
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Xokkeu
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2013 US U18s

For the usual US followers, I haven't had a chance to watch the U18s this year due to work and the time zone changes. I'm curious what's going on with the team. We haven't lost two games in the group stages of the U18s since 2007. What's the assessment of the team? Have we just been unlucky or are we really struggling as bad as the standings indicate?

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04-24-2013, 02:02 PM
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Have we just been unlucky or are we really struggling as bad as the standings indicate?
well, in the game with russia usa was clearly a better team and the end result is somewhat misleading. i'd say usa is still the main contender to win the gold

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04-24-2013, 03:50 PM
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The team was quite sloppy defensively in their first few games which resulted in the loss against Russia and the close game against the Czechs. They finally seemed to have put things together defensively against the Finns but the Finnish goalie, Juuse Saros, played out of his mind in the second period stopping 25 shots while the Finns were able to make the few scoring chances they had count (Saros actually did the same thing back in February at the 5 Nations tournament). Compounding the issue is the fact that Demko really hasn't been able to make many big saves.

The biggest strength of the US teams of the past four years has always been excellent defense and very good goaltending. I don't know what the issue is this year but they just haven't looked like a cohesive unit the way past teams have. It's possible they can turn things around but they're certainly in a very tough position now.

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04-24-2013, 04:27 PM
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Originally Posted by kp61c View Post
well, in the game with russia usa was clearly a better team and the end result is somewhat misleading. i'd say usa is still the main contender to win the gold
I disagree. I think the US played very well but they lacked the offensive flair to score more goals, unlike Russia. Some of their goals came from Russian mistakes, while Russia created chances for themselves.

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04-24-2013, 04:55 PM
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cagney
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Originally Posted by Fulcrum View Post
I disagree. I think the US played very well but they lacked the offensive flair to score more goals, unlike Russia. Some of their goals came from Russian mistakes, while Russia created chances for themselves.
I thought it was a very typical game for a Russian junior team; they're always happy to risk surrendering possession in search of a high quality scoring chance. As a result the US had more time on attack but they weren't necessarily creating a huge number of scoring chances with all the cycling they were doing. The sloppy play from the US certainly played into Russia's hands in the game though.

This US team is playing a particularly North American style of hockey with lots of dump-and-chase, cycling and low percentage shots. There really hasn't been a lot of creativity, or at least effective creativity. Given the edge they should have in chemistry over other teams it's pretty disappointing.

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