Illini score big for Team USA in Worlds win



By Jason Grodsky

After three straight losses to open the 2007 Winter World University Games in Torino, Italy, Team USA finally captured its first victory of the games, defeating Korea 5-2 in its final preliminary-round game Wednesday.

Illinois junior forward Drew Heredia scored twice for the U.S. and Illinois senior forward Marshall Chubirka tallied one of two shorthanded goals for the U.S., while Illinois junior forward Johnny Liang added two assists in the game.

“Special teams played a large factor in the game tonight,” Team USA head coach and Illini head coach Chad Cassel said in a press release.

“Our penalty kill was very solid defensively and we also created some good scoring opportunities, while our power-play produced two goals as well,” he added.

Trailing 0-1 in the first period, Heredia tied the game after he stuffed home a rebound on a shot by Liang from the right side.

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With the game still tied at 1-1 late in the first period, the U.S. was able to turn a Korean power-play into two shorthanded goals just 17 seconds apart.

The first came by Chubirka on a shot over the Korean goalie’s right shoulder, and the second by Heredia on a shot from the low slot.

The U.S. would increase its lead to 4-1 on a goal by Penn State senior forward Michael McMullen midway through the third period.

Following a Korean goal the U.S put the game away with a power-play goal with just 51 seconds remaining by Penn State junior defenseman Keith Jordan.

Earning the win in net for the U.S. was Rhode Island senior goaltender Anthony Feyock who stopped 19-of-21 shots in the game.

The win clinched the U.S. fourth place in Pool B and a spot in Thursday’s seventh-place game against either Italy or Japan.