For the second straight game at the 2013 World Junior Championships in Ufa, Russia the United States played a spirited game against an extremely tough opponent on Sunday. But just as it was edged 2-1 by Russia on Thursday, Team USA once again was defeated by that same 2-1 score in Sunday's hard-fought contest with Canada.
The United States, with one victory in three games, so far, wraps up preliminary round play on Monday when it skates against Slovakia, still with a chance to finish in third place in the Group B standings.
JT Miller, the Rangers first round selection in the 2011 NHL Draft, was held off the scoresheet by Canada on Sunday, though he did manage to fire three shots on goal---all in the second period. Miller also took 11 faceoffs for Team USA---winning five.
Miller, a Team USA alternate captain, was on ice for both of Canada's goals in the first period as the United States fell into an early 2-0 hole. Ryan Nugent-Hopkins, the NHL's top overall pick by the Edmonton Oilers in 2011, opened the scoring at 7:13, netting his third goal and tournament-high eighth point in three games. Islanders prospect Ryan Strome made it 2-0 with his third goal at 14:44 of the first period.
The United States finally broke through against Canadian goaltender Malcolm Subban 11:02 into the third period on a Jacob Trouba goal. However Subban, a Boston Bruins 2012 first round pick, would not be beaten again and finished with an impressive 36 saves.
Through three games at the 2013 World Junior Championships, so far, Miller has scored one goal and totaled eight shots on goal while playing in all game situations.
What did you think of Team USA's performance on Sunday? And what have you thought of JT MIller's play in the tournament, so far? Share your observations below.