Roman Augustoviz spends Minnesota's winters covering college hockey, specifically the Gophers, and other University of Minnesota sports. During the summer, he writes about the WNBA's Minnesota Lynx, with a dose of U sports sprinkled in. Follow him on Twitter @RomanStrib.

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U.S. edges Canada in World Championships; Penticton loses

Posted by: Roman Augustoviz under Men's hockey Updated: May 6, 2012 - 1:20 AM

Defenseman Jack Johnson's second power-play goal of the game at 1 minute, 47 seconds of overtime gave the U.S. a 4-3 victory over Canada in the IIHF World Championships in Helsinki, Finland.

It was an exciting to watch -- the NBC Sports Network showed it on tape delay -- if you didn't know the score, which I didn't.

Pat Dwyer also had a huge goal for the U.S. team. He scored short-handed to give the U.S. a 3-2 lead in their third period. The U.S. was two for four on the power play, Canada zero for three. Ryan Lasch, a former St. Cloud State forward, had an assist for the Americans.

The U.S. will play Slovakia next at 12:15 p.m. (Twin Cities time) on Monday.

According to the NBC Sports Network announcers, the last U.S. victory over Canada in the World Championships was in 2001 when the Americans won by the same 4-3 score on May 11, also in overtime. Darby Hendrickson, an ex-Gopher and Wild player, got the game-winner 11 years ago.  He scored at 32 seconds of the extra period.

FIRST CO-MVPS WERE ...

When goalie Kent Patterson and forward Nick Bjugstad were named the co-MVPs of the Gophers hockey team on Friday, they were only the second pair of teammates to share that honor since 1955-56 when it was first handed out.

The first pair? Goalie Kellen Briggs and forward Danny Irmen after the 2004-05 season.

Sophomore center Erik Haula was an easy selection for Playoffs MVP when you look at his stats in postseason play. He had five goals andsix assists for 11 points in six games. Haula had at least one point in every game.

VEES FALL

The Penticton Vees ran into a hot goalie and lost 2-1 to the Soo Thunderbirds on Saturday in their first game of the RBC Cup in Humboldt, Saskatchewan.

The Vees, who have eight Minnesotans on their roster, outshot the Soo 45-15, including 15-5 in the third period. But goalie John Kleinhans was nearly perfect. He stopped 44 shots.

Joey Benik, who played high school hockey for St. Francis, had the only Vees goal late in the second period.

The Vees, who came in as the tournament favorite, will play Humboldt, the host team of the five-team Junior A national championship, at 8:30 p.m. Sunday. Humboldt won its first game 4-1 over Woodstock.

This tournament starts with a round-robin, so the Vees will play all four of the other teams in the field. Then, the top four advance to the semifinals, so the Vees are not in trouble yet.

"This is a long tournament," Soo coach Zoltan Kovacs said on a video clip on the RBC Cup web side. "We can't get overly excited about winning one game in a tournament."

Kleinhans called this game probably his finest ever. "I knew I had to come out and play my best game against this team," he said.

Vees coach Fred Harbinson said his team tried to win the game in the last 40 minutes after playing a poor opening period.

"The third period our guts plays well until we took dumb penalties," he said. The Soo's winning goal came on a power play.

"If we were thinking we could sleepwalk through this tournament," Harbinson said, "we got a major wakeup call."

The Vees had a 42-game winning streak during the regular season and finished as the No. 1 rated team in Junior A hockey in Canada out of 133 teams.

Junior A is a notch below major junior hockey -- those players are paid and ineligible to play NCAA hockey.

 

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