Men’s Hockey late comeback falls short against Japan

Men’s Hockey late comeback falls short against Japan

GRANADA, Spain—The U.S. Men’s National University Team lost, 3-2, to Japan in its 2015 Winter World University Games opener today at the Granada Sports Palace. The teams were scoreless until the late stages of the second period, when Japan tallied three straight goals. The U.S. rallied, scoring two goals in the game’s final three minutes, but couldn’t notch an equalizer.

Maito Omuku’s shorthanded goal gave Japan a 1-0 lead at 16:30 of the second period. Japan then opened the third period with two power-play goals in the five minutes, gaining a 3-0 lead.

Billy Balent (Waterford, Mich./Oakland University) helped the U.S. chip away at Japan’s lead when he converted a penalty shot at 13:56 of the third to make it 3-1. Then, while on the power play and with the man advantage and goaltender Matt Cooper (Duluth, Minn./Iowa State University) pulled for a 6-on-4 man advantage, Chris Joseph (Levittown, N.Y./Stony Brook University) scored to make it a one-goal game at 18:46. Again the U.S. swapped Cooper for the extra attacker, but an equalizer eluded them in the final 1:02, resulting in the 3-2 Japanese victory despite Team USA racking up a 52-22 shots-on-goal advantage.

The U.S. Men’s National University Team is back in action Saturday (Feb. 7), facing Kazakhstan at 2:30 p.m. ET.

Notes: Billy Balent tallied two points in tonight’s contest, picking up an assist on the Chris Josephgoal. Tyler Benson also notched an assist on the goal … A rebroadcast of tonight’s game will air on CBS Sports Network Saturday at 10 a.m. ET. Click here to find your CBS Sports Network on your television provider.