(Reilly and company had a tough go against the Finns)
USA dropped their final tune-up game to the Finns 5-1 early on Saturday morning. Mario Lucia and Mike Reilly both dressed. Reilly was paired with Seth Jones on D and Lucia was penciled in as the 13th forward but saw time five-on-five and the PK.
Obviously it wasn’t the result or effort the Americans wanted, as many pundits said this line-up was the likely final roster for when the real fun begins next week in Ufa, Russia.
Again, bookmark Chris Peter’s United States of Hockey blog that will have wall-to-wall coverage on the American Junior team throughout the tournament. His recap from this morning’s loss can be found here.
Chris on Mike Reilly today:
“Reilly played the exact kind of game he needed to play against Sweden Thursday. Today was a bit of the opposite. He never was able to establish his offensive game and struggled in the D zone. He was with Jones for three of those goals against. He has that game-breaking potential offensively, but the D game needs some work.”
Again it’s one game, and as mentioned, Reilly had a really strong showing against the Swedes. Is it a good sign that Reilly was paired with potential first round draft pick Seth Jones? Reilly wasn’t the only player with an off-game as many up and down the line-up weren’t so hot.
Mario Lucia had a quieter game Saturday compared to Thursday but that necessarily isn’t a bad thing. Lucia started as the 13th forward and didn’t have the ice-time he did on Thursday. By all accounts Lucia was sound in the loss and played pretty well considering the roll he had on Saturday.
Interesting story was that USA Hockey delayed it’s final roster announcement until 3 AM ET / 12 Am PT on Sunday morning; they were schedule to make cuts after the game against Finland. Chris has the full story on his blog and you can find that here.
Maybe the efforts of some in the loss has the American staff having doubts? Regardless it will be a long time for the 26 players, including Reilly and Lucia. We will have our fingers crossed and when news breaks on the final roster I will have it here.