No miracle here

TERRY KOSHAN -- Toronto Sun

, Last Updated: 10:30 AM ET

So much for a repeat. A year after winning its first gold in the world junior, the U.S. flamed out in a big way on home soil at the 2005 world junior championship, losing 7-2 to Russia in a semi-final last night.

The Americans will face the Czech Republic in the bronze-medal game tomorrow afternoon.

"We've already accomplished a lot more than anyone expected this team to do, which I still can't understand," said U.S. centre Patrick O'Sullivan, the latter part of his comment directed at those who picked the U.S. to finish out of the medals. "We had some guys back (eight from last winter) and we had some big expectations for ourselves. Any team that doesn't win should be disappointed, but we're still going for a medal and we are excited about that."

DISORGANIZED

O'Sullivan and London Knights star Rob Schremp, who has been in and out of coach Scott Sandelin's doghouse, scored for the U.S. last night.

American goalie Al Montoya was inconsistent in this tournament, but his teammates often were terribly disorganized in front of him. Some NHL scouts mentioned the names of three defencemen -- A.J. Thelen, Matt Lashoff and Jack Johnson --when conversations turned to which good American players were noticeable by their absences because they were not picked to play. The U.S. also was hurt by the loss of forward Chris Bourque to a knee injury.

O'Sullivan likes Canada's chances tomorrow.

"(The Russians) are a good team but I think they are in trouble in their next game," O'Sullivan said.


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