U.S. overtakes Russia

, Last Updated: 12:24 AM ET

GRAND FORKS, N.D. (CP) -- Dan Fritsche's second goal of the game gave the defending champion United States a 5-4 win over Russia at the world junior hockey championship Saturday.

Russia, the tournament winner in 2002 and 2003, fell behind 2-0, 3-2 and 4-3 but tied it 4-4 on Dmitri Pestunov's goal at 7:17 of the second period.

Fritsche then put the Americans up for good, scoring the winner on a short-handed 2-on-1 break at 8:40 of the middle frame. Kevin Porter led the rush down the left side before sliding the puck to Fritsche, who stretched out to tip it past goalie Anton Khudobin.

"For us, it was a great start to the hockey tournament and a very exciting game to watch," U.S. coach Scott Sandelin said. "It was a good game for us because it kept us on our toes."

Al Montoya made it stand up, making 12 of his 30 saves in the third period for the Americans.

The game was tied 3-3 after the first period.

"I thought it might be a 9-8 game the way that first period was going," Sandelin said.

Robbie Schremp, Chris Bourque and Drew Stafford also scored for the United States.

Alexander Ovechkin, Sergei Shirokov and Yakov Rylov had the other goals for the Russians, who got 27 saves from Khudobin.


Videos

Photos