WASHINGTON — In a hard-fought match, the U.S. men's hockey team managed to come out on top against Canada, remaining undefeated in their second game of the Olympics.
The 4-2 match started on a rocky footing for the American team, with Canada making an early goal in the first period. Less than 90 seconds into the game, a 40-ft shot hit the back of the net, putting Canada on the board.
But the Canadian dream of an upset wouldn't last for long: 70 seconds after that first goal, Team USA fired back with their own goal to tie up the game.
With eight players under age 21, the U.S. was one of the hardest teams to figure out in a tournament without NHL talent. The boom or bust potential of the youngest team in the tournament was on full display against Canada.
By the end of the first period, the U.S. was up 2-1 after a late second goal, putting them in the lead.
Brian O'Neill, the lone returnee from the 2018 Olympics, called falling behind early “good adversity” after routing China 8-0 in the opener. Facing and beating Canada was a test that the U.S. passed by leaning on strengths like playing fast and also adapting to changes in the pace of the game.
The gap widened in the second period, with Team USA scoring a second unmatched goal, bringing the score to 3-1.
By the third period, Team USA had put up a strong lead, with the 12 college-age players on the ice able to turn the tables on the more experienced Canadians.
A late-game shot by Kenny Agostino secured the fourth goal of the match for the Americans.
With Claude Julien back behind the bench two weeks after breaking his ribs in a sledding accident, the Canadians figured they'd use their size and physicality to wear down the smaller Americans over the course of 60 minutes.
But in the end, the U.S. was able to hold their lead, and secure their first victory over Team Canada in over a decade.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.