Flyers prospect Cam York was named Team USA’s player of the game, but the Americans dropped a 5-3 decision Friday night to Russia in a World Junior Championship opener.
York, a defenseman chosen by the Flyers in the first round (14th overall) of the 2019 draft, had a goal and an assist.
Team USA will get a chance to rebound Saturday night when it faces Austria at 9:30 (NHL Network).
Goalie Spencer Knight, selected by Florida in the first round (13th overall) of the 2019 draft, allowed four goals before being removed with the Americans facing a 4-1 second-period deficit. He surrendered two goals after making bad clears.
Knight, who is the starter for Boston College, allowed four goals on 12 shots and was removed. Dustin Wolf, Knight’s replacement, stopped all 11 shots he faced.
York set up Trevor Zegras’ power-play goal with 2 minutes, 18 seconds left in the game, getting the United States to within 4-3.
Russia, aiming for its first gold medal since 2011, secured the win by scoring an empty-net goal with 21 seconds remaining.
“I like the way we played in the third period and the push we made,” United States coach Nate Leaman said. “… We just have to get to that game quicker.”
Leaman said the Americans “put ourselves in a tough position with our puck management.”
“We can learn from this and move forward,” said Zegras, whose team allowed Russia to control the puck during long stretches in the first two periods.
York, a Michigan sophomore, played 22:49 and was minus-2 in the game. Winger Bobby Brink, another highly regarded Flyers prospect, had an assist and was plus-1 in 13:57. Brink, a sophomore at the University of Denver, was chosen in the second round (No. 34 overall) in 2019.
Vasili Ponomaryov, Carolina’s second-round selection in this year’s draft, had two goals to pace Russia, which is regarded as one of the tournament’s top contenders.
Flyers prospect Emil Andrae, a defenseman, will be in action Saturday at 2 p.m. when his Sweden team faces the Czech Republic at 2 p.m. All World Junior games will be televised on the NHL Network.