World Junior fans courageous cold weather to tailgate ahead of outdoor game

World Junior fans courageous cold weather to tailgate ahead of outdoor game

World Junior fans courageous cold weather to tailgate ahead of outdoor game

The first outdoor game in World Junior Championships history was a snowy scene that clearly had an impact on the game.

The game took almost five hours to play.

Boris Katchouk (#12) of Canada with the puck in the second period against the United States during the IIHF World Junior Championship at New Era Field on December 29, 2017 in Buffalo, New York.

Canada generated a 3-1 lead, but Brady Tkachuk and the US team rallied back for an eventual 4-3 shootout win.

That's a massive improvement in the Americans' standing compared to where they'd be with a second loss in two days.

The United States took advantage of that man-advantage with a goal from Scott Perunovich, cutting Canada's lead to 3-2. Not a bad warm-up for the upcoming 2018 Winter Classic, eh?

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Russia's Klim Kostin continued his strong showing in the preliminary round with two goals against Belarus on Friday afternoon.

National Hockey League legacies ended up factoring into this one, as both Tkachuk and Kieffer Bellows scored during regulation and in the shootout.

Oettinger had stopped Canada from taking a 3-0 lead early in the period, thwarting Victor Mete, who just finished serving a penalty, on a breakaway.

Oettinger, a Dallas Stars prospect, had a solid day in net and came up big in the second half of the contest.

The Canadians chipped pucks into the US zone and scored each of their goals through traffic - including power-play strikes from Cale Makar and Dillon Dube.

The US's Casey Mittelstadt followed up his sensational goal in yesterday's surprise loss to Slovakia with three assists today. It was the third goal in as many games for Bellows, who went to the New York Islanders with the 19th overall pick in 2017.

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Traffic woes, long waits at the Canada-U.S. border and a thorough security team at the stadium gates meant thousands of fans were not in their seats for the game's start.

HART OF GOLD - Goaltender Carter Hart was a bright spot for Canada, making 32 saves as the United States peppered him with shots from odd angles. The dynamic forward is some kind of creator on offense and Buffalo fans have to be pleased with what they've seen so far. Perunovich and Tkachuk scored less than a minute apart in the third period to tie the game, then the USA successfully killed a penalty right after that when Canada was given a chance to respond.

What happens next in the World Juniors?

Canada can finish first in Group A with a win Saturday night over Denmark.

REVENGE BEST SERVED COLD - The rivalry between the two teams runs deep, with seven Canadian players returning from last year's team that lost to the United States in a shootout in the world championship final in Montreal.

The 2018 World Juniors preliminary round continues through December 31 before relegation in January, which precedes the playoffs.

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