The Chicago Steel lost a heartbreaker against Sweden’s Djurgarden 5-2 in the Junior Club World Cup Semifinal. It was the first loss for the Steel after winning Group A 3-0-0-0. Chicago will have a rematch with Russia's Avto for the bronze medal Sunday at 3:00 pm (5:00 am CT) in hopes of extending the USHL’s JCWC record for most consecutive medals.
Chicago came out of the gate quick, after an emotional win last night against Russia’s host club Avto, and carried the energy of the game from Parkland, FL native Brandon Duhaime’s early tally. Chicago, IL native Tanner Laczynski added another assist to his tournament-leading total of six in four games. The Steel put Djurgarden goaltender Filip Larsson on his heels the entire period, but the Swedish defense was quick to react to any loose rebounds and kept the Americans to 1-0.
Djurgarden’s Markus Nygren got the game to 1-1 two minutes into the second period. The Steel looked to capitalize on a swing of momentum while on the power play, but Djurgarden was able to posses the puck for the majority of the kill and eventually found a breakaway chance to take the lead. Djurgarden’s speed and high-tempo offense continued to push the pace into their favor, scoring another two goals before the end of the second period.
Djurgarden didn’t look to slow down in the third period as Nygren scored again, one minute into the period, putting the Swedes up 4-1. Chicago pushed the pace and got back to their heavy forecheck pressure, helping Duhaime add another tally. Both Duhaime and Max Zimmer now have four goals in as many games. The Steel went into an aggressive offensive attack and had multiple high-chance scoring opportunities, but Larsson stood tall in net. Djurgarden was able to respond with a final tally putting the game out of reach with ten minutes remaining.
The JCWC bronze medal game will be broadcasted live on USHL.com Sunday at 5:00 am CT. Tune in to watch history as the USHL can become the first-ever league to win four consecutive medals at the JCWC.
Headquartered in Chicago, Illinois, the USHL celebrates its 14th season as the nation's only Tier I junior hockey league in 2015-16. A record 37 players were chosen in the 2015 NHL Draft and more than 375 players on team rosters last season committed to NCAA Division I schools, further establishing the USHL as the world’s foremost producer of junior hockey talent.
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