Monday, August 23, 2004
Updated: August 24, 3:53 AM ET
Guerin, Rolston, Leopold score in win
COLUMBUS, Ohio -- Hockey is back in North America, even if it's only for the 22 days of the World Cup.
Bill Guerin, Brian Rolston and Jordan Leopold scored goals and
Brian Leetch had two assists as Team USA beat Canada 3-1 Monday
night in a World Cup exhibition game.
"It's always big for any team to beat Canada," Guerin said.
The United States, which won the previous World Cup tournament
in 1996, got off to a slow start but dominated the final two
periods. Canada did not get off a shot in the first 12:22 of the
"We're three days from skating around by ourselves and being on
the beach," Leetch said. "You never know what to expect."
After three exhibition games -- a rematch Wednesday night against
Canada in Ottawa and back in Columbus against Russia on Friday --
the United States opens play Aug. 31 against Canada in Montreal.
The World Cup championship game is set for Sept. 14 in Toronto.
That's the night before the NHL's collective bargaining agreement
expires. A lockout that threatens next season is a distinct
Dany Heatley gave Canada a 1-0 lead midway through the opening
period when he banged in a power-play rebound from the left hash
off assists by Shane Doan and Joe Thornton.
Canada goaltender Martin Brodeur stopped Chris Chelios at the
6-minute mark and Chris Drury from the right boards later in the
first period. Brodeur, the Vezina Trophy winner the past two NHL
seasons, stopped all 18 shots he faced before being replaced
halfway through the second period by Roberto Luongo.
The Americans scored on two of their first four shots against
the Florida Panthers' goalie.
Luongo had been on the ice just seven seconds when Guerin's
backhander trickled through between his pads.
"It was just lying there, sitting on the ice, and I pushed it
toward the net," Guerin said. "I'm not sure how it got through."
With just under a minute remaining in the period, Leetch's pass
from the point was deflected to Rolston. The puck floated between
his skates, but he was able to push it through heavy traffic past a
surprised Luongo for a 2-1 lead.
Leopold made it 3-1 with 6:57 remaining in the third period when
he scored from the high slot off an assist from Drury after Chelios
muscled the puck into the zone against Eric Brewer.
The Edmonton Oilers' Ty Conklin started in goal for the
Americans and gave up Heatley's goal but made several sterling
saves before giving way to Rick DiPietro at the start of the second
period. DiPietro, of the New York Islanders, stopped all eight
shots he saw.
"They were skating better and beat us to the puck," Canada's
Jarome Iginla said. "They had some odd-man rushes. That's
something we need to work on."
Three hours before the puck was dropped, dozens of college-age men, their hair dyed red, wandered around downtown Columbus carrying a Canadian flag. ... Midway through the first
period, there was a live video hookup to Iraq with members of the
706th Transport Unit from Mansfield, Ohio. ... The Canadian line of
Mario Lemieux, Martin St. Louis and Brad Richards didn't play.
Lemieux and his linemates will play in the two remaining
exhibitions in Canada. ... The loudest applause came when Team
Canada executive director Wayne Gretzky was shown on the video
screens over center ice late in the game.