Friday, May 6, 2011

Stepan Continues To Shine For Team USA Despite 4-3 Loss to Canada

Derek Stepan’s tremendous World Championship continued today with a goal and an assist for Team USA against the more talented Team Canada group.  Stepan was one of the few American players that did not seem to be overmatched by the Canadian talent. 

During the third period, as we saw numerous times during the regular season, Stepan stepped up in the big moment and scored the game tying goal with just 8:43 left in the game.  Canada has been dominating play and just gone from down 2-1 to leading 3-2 with the game seemingly over before Stepan made the big play.  The goal came from a beautiful give-and-go with Blake Wheeler off the right wing wall which ended with Stepan being open in the slot to score the power play goal.  His assist came during the second period on Mike Komisarek’s point shot that gave the USA squad a 1-0 lead in the game.  The assist was his fifth of the tournament. 

Stepan continued to be the best player for Team USA in the tournament and now he has a total of one goal and five assists in the four games.  This kind of performance as the number one center for the national team against this kind of competition is a tremendous boost for Stepan on the heels of his very good rookie season.  With his work ethic look for Stepan to come back even stronger next season.

On the disappointing side Chris Kreider was clearly over-matched today against the NHL talent of the Canadian roster and was used very sparingly the last couple of periods of the game.