In a pre-World Cup exhibition matchup, the United States defeated Canada, 3-1, at Nationwide Arena in Columbus. The Canadian team was without captain Mario Lemieux, who decided to sit out the game.
Canada opened the game’s scoring with a goal by Atlanta Thrashers’ forward Dany Heatley halway through the first period. They held the lead until the game’s midway point thanks to solid goaltending from Martin Brodeur of the New Jersey Devils.
Florida Panther Roberto Luongo replaced Brodeur and the Dallas Stars’ Bill Guerin scored to even the game at 10:25 of the second. Brian Rolston of the Boston Bruins scored with 58 seconds left in the period to put the United States on top.
Calgary Flame Jordan Leopold added a third period goal – assisted by Detroit Red Wing Chris Chelios – for the Americans and Canada was unable to score against New York Islander Rick DiPietro, replaced Edmonton Oiler Ty Conklin in net at the start of the second period.
“It’s U.S.-Canada,” Guerin said. “They’re our biggest rivals. We’re theirs. This means a lot for both teams, whether it’s exhibition or not. You have to be ready.”