Team USA has had a very interesting tournament. They won their first two games but each game was different.
Their first win came against Norway and it was by a score of 4-1. They didn't play as well as they would have wanted in this one but they managed to get a multi-goal win anyway.
The second game looked a lot closer to the Team USA we were expecting. They beat Team Swiss 11-3 which is a complete blowout. The Swiss are better than Norway too which made this a pretty surprising turn of events.
No matter what, it was obvious that Friday's game would be the hardest against Czechia who is the reigning Silver Medalist from a year ago.
Team USA took down Team Czechia in a World Juniors shootout on Friday.
The game was a challenge. Czechia is a good team and they even had the lead a couple of times. Team USA stuck with them though and the game ended up in overtime tied at 3.
Team USA had a power play in the OT period but they couldn't find the back of the net. The game ended up in a shootout where they needed more than the typical five frames to find a winner.
It was Tampa Bay Lightning prospect Isaac Howard who scored the game-winner in the shootout for Team USA. Isaac was Tampa's first-round pick (31st overall) in the 2022 NHL Draft.
Howard is from Wisconsin and currently plays for Michigan State. This season at MSU, he has 5 goals and 15 assists for 20 points in 18 games played.
Seeing Team USA win a game like this is very good news. The competition is only going to get harder and Czechia gave them everything they could handle.
The Lightning have to be happy that their guy got the winner but they are one of many teams with players impacting this event. The NHL is already loaded with talent and more is on the way. Team USA is loaded with players that will be stars in the league soon.
Their next game will come on Sunday against Slovakia. This is going to be a showdown that likely decides who comes out of Group B. They are going to have to be even better against them as they are doing well so far in this tournament as well.