World Juniors

Bjugstad Wins It In Overtime

Cats prospect Nick Bjugstad goal sends the United States to 3-2 overtime victory

Sunday, 12.26.2010 / 11:22 PM ET / World Juniors
Florida Panthers
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Bjugstad Wins It In Overtime
Nick Bjugstad talks following the USA's 3-2 overtime win over Finland
By Glenn Odebralski for

What a way to end the night cap of Sunday's triple header to open the World Juniors. The United States began their title defense in dramatic fashion thanks in large part to Cats second first-rounder of this past year's draft (#25 overall) Nick Bjugstad as he scored the overtime game-winner to upend Team Finland 3-2.

Tied at two and headed into the extra session, Bjugstad took it upon himself to gain the extra point without having to go to the shootout as he fired a shot that beat Joni Ortio between his right arm and his body for the winner with 1:52 left to play in the five-minute session.

"I think that's number one definitely" said Bjugstad when asked where that goal ranked on his list. "As big of a tournament like this, I've never been in one as big as this."

It was a closely guarded affair as both sides tried to limit the opportunities and miscues in the first game for both teams and that was the case most of the night.

"I think you have a little bit of nerves coming in to a game like this, especially our first game of the tournament," said Panthers prospect Drew Shore. "But I think we got those out of the way and I think we'll be better next game."

"It was an OK game," said Panthers prospect and Finnish forward Joonas Donskoi (drafted 99th overall in 2010 NHL Entry Draft. "A lot of things that we need to do better. It was sad to lose but it was a good fight and an OK game."

Drew Shore talks following the USA's 3-2 overtime win over Finland
The United States had the first great chance in the game. Coming midway through the first and while killing a penalty, Jerry D'Amigo stripped a Finnish player and raced down the ice on a 2-on-1 with Jason Zucker. Ortio came up with a great pad save to keep the game scoreless.

The host country would find the back of the net with time running out in the opening period as Justin Faulk let one rip, beating Ortio up high with 1:06 left to play.

Finland's Erik Haula had several opportunities in the second period to tie the score or give Finland the lead. Set up with a wide open net, he missed it wide with just over 13 minutes to play. After Finland found the back of the net thanks to a turnover created by Toni Rajala who found Joonas Nattinen with 6:10 remaining for the one-timer, Haula had a great chance on a rush but Campbell was able to hold onto the puck while looking behind him.

Jason Zucker gave the US the lead with 4:52 remaining in the second as he stole the puck from a Finnish defenseman in the corner, walked out and roofed it over Ortio.

Joonas Donskoi talks following Finland's 3-2 overtime loss to the USA
In the third period, the United States had several opportunities to make it a 3-1 game as Kyle Palmieri found himself all alone one-on-one with the goaltender with 15 minutes to play but hit the post. Later Jeremy Morin actually did find the back of the net but Bjugstad was in the blue paint and interfered with Ortio. With 7:16 to go, Charlie Coyle found the puck on his stick from just outside the crease but Ortio stopped him with the glove.

"It was definitely kind of an up and down game," said Shore. "We played some periods. The first period I thought we came out good. We struggled in the second."

Only down one, Finland found the equalizer thanks to some good fortune. Haula took a shot but didn't get all of it. Campbell made the save but it bounced right back to Pakarinin who just got enough of it to knot it at two.

Looking to regain the lead, Palmieri had a golden opportunity as he found himself in another one-on-one situation with 5:07 left in the third. With an open net after deking the netminder silly he missed the shot wide.

"I think we started off pretty well but they took it to us the second and third period," said Bjugstad. "Fortunately Jack Campbell played well. He kept us in it. A little adversity for the team and I think that will help us down the road in the tournament."




1 p - WSH 82 56 18 8 252 193 120
2 x - PIT 82 48 26 8 245 203 104
3 y - FLA 82 47 26 9 239 203 103
4 x - NYR 82 46 27 9 236 217 101
5 x - NYI 82 45 27 10 232 216 100
6 x - TBL 82 46 31 5 227 201 97
7 x - PHI 82 41 27 14 214 218 96
8 x - DET 82 41 30 11 211 224 93
9 BOS 82 42 31 9 240 230 93
10 CAR 82 35 31 16 198 226 86
11 OTT 82 38 35 9 236 247 85
12 NJD 82 38 36 8 184 208 84
13 MTL 82 38 38 6 221 236 82
14 BUF 82 35 36 11 201 222 81
15 CBJ 82 34 40 8 219 252 76
16 TOR 82 29 42 11 198 246 69


J. Jagr 79 27 39 23 66
J. Jokinen 81 18 42 25 60
A. Barkov 66 28 31 18 59
J. Huberdeau 76 20 39 17 59
V. Trocheck 76 25 28 15 53
R. Smith 82 25 25 19 50
A. Ekblad 78 15 21 18 36
N. Bjugstad 67 15 19 -8 34
B. Campbell 82 6 25 31 31
B. Pirri 52 11 13 -4 24
R. Luongo 35 19 6 .922 2.35
A. Montoya 12 7 3 .919 2.18 is the official Web site of the Florida Panthers. Florida Panthers and are trademarks of the Florida Panthers Hockey Club, Ltd. NHL, the NHL Shield, the word mark and image of the Stanley Cup and NHL Conference logos are registered trademarks and NHL Draft name and logo are trademarks of the National Hockey League. All NHL logos and marks and NHL team logos and marks as well as all other proprietary materials depicted herein are the property of the NHL and the respective NHL teams and may not be reproduced without the prior written consent of NHL Enterprises, L.P. Copyright © 1999-2016 Florida Panthers Hockey Club, Ltd and the National Hockey League. All Rights Reserved.