I know I essentially said the same thing after the quarterfinal loss to Belarus, but I really hope everyone looks beyond the defeat to the big picture of how the World University Games program, the ACHA and hockey in the US in general are trending. The future is bright - we went from bottom feeders to solidly in the second tier in the first decade. The next decade will see us take still another step. Here are the details:
O'Brien digs DMB like every Penn Stater since 1995ERZURUM, Turkey – Team USA scored three goals in the third period to pull within one, but the U.S. Men's National University Team dropped a 4-3 decision to Slovakia here today in its final game of the 2011 Winter World University Games. Team USA captured sixth place and finished the tournament with a 3-0-0-3 (W-OTW-OTL-L) record.This marks the U.S. Men's National University Team's highest finish at the tournament. In past performances, Team USA has finished seventh (2009), eighth (2001, 2007), ninth (2005) and eleventh (2003).Team USA fell behind less than three minutes into the game. Devin Sheehan (Binghamton, N.Y./University of Rhode Island) was then assessed a penalty shot at the 6:05 mark, but failed to convert.After Slovakia built up a 3-0 lead in the middle frame, the U.S. responded with two power-play goals in the third period. Alan Dionne (North Scituate, R.I./University of Rhode Island) scored at the 8:55 mark and Tim O'Brien (Bethel Park, Pa./Penn State University) notched another power-play tally just 2:05 later to cut the deficit to 3-2.Slovakia extended its lead to 4-2 only 27 seconds later. Dan Lassik (Garnet Valley, Pa./University of Rhode Island) then scored with 18 seconds remaining in regulation to bring the U.S. within one goal, but Slovakia held on for the victory.Goaltender Dan Pyne (Warrington, Pa./Drexel University) made 24 saves for the U.S., while Peter Pus stopped 25 shots for Slovakia.
At the risk of sounding repetitive (again), the women's team is also deserving of our utmost respect and congratulations. Tying it back to what I said about the men's team above, the women are miles ahead of where the men were in 2001, and it will also be exciting to watch this side of things grow in the coming years. So despite unfortunately not coming away with the bronze, job well done. Recap:
Crawford is generally awesomeERZURUM, Turkey – Shea Crawford (Selbyville, Del./Lindenwood University) scored the lone goal for Team USA, as the U.S. Women's National University Team fell to Slovakia, 3-1, here today in the bronze-medal game of the the 2011 Winter World University Games. Team USA finished the tournament with a 2-0-0-5 (W-OTW-OTL-L) overall record.
Penn State UpdateThe 2011 Winter World University Games marked the first time the U.S. sent a women's team after women's ice hockey was added to the tournament in 2009. The U.S. Women's National University Team's fourth-place finish is the highest a U.S. team has placed at the tournament."It was a great game today," said Mo Stroemel, head coach of the U.S. Women's National University Team. "We've made history and hopefully paved the way for many future women's teams that will play in this tournament."Slovakia took a 1-0 lead 9:09 into the game with the first period's lone tally. The U.S. proceeded to have two breakaway opportunities, but could not find the back of the net.After a scoreless second period, Slovakia scored just 41 seconds into the final frame and then notched a power-play tally at the 11:45 mark.Down 3-0 heading into the final two minutes of regulation, Crawford gave the U.S. life when she scored on the power play. After Slovakia was called for tripping at 18:16, Emily Nelson (Harper Woods, Mich./University of Michigan) and Megan Winters (Basking Ridge, N.J./Northeastern University) set up Crawford, who sent a shot on net that beat Slovakian goaltender Zuzana Tomcikova with 1:28 remaining in the period.Thirty-nine seconds later, the U.S. sent an extra skater to the ice, but could not edge closer as Slovakia held on for the 3-1 victory.Goaltender Katie Vaughan (South Park, Pa./Penn State University) made 18 saves for Team USA, while Tomcikova stopped 27 shots for Slovakia.