DUBAI, United Arab Emirates - The USA Men's Senior National Team started off the FINA World League Super Final with a jaw-dropping comeback, rallying from five goals down in the second half to top Canada 12-9. Alex Bowen (Santee, CA/Stanford/Stanford) led the offense with three goals before being rolled from the match. McQuin Baron (North Tustin, CA/Mater Dei HS/United) settled down in goal to pick up the victory.
After an even start to the match with both teams tied at 1-1 to close the first quarter, Canada scored four goals in the second to take a 5-2 lead at intermission.
Canada appeared in control ahead 7-2 in the third and then again 8-4 before Team USA began to chip away. Despite Bowen's departure, the United States found offense in other areas. Trailing 8-5 at the end of the third the United States exploded for seven goals in the fourth quarter.
On this comeback run Michael Rosenthal (Miami, FL/USC/NYAC), John Mann (Newport Beach, CA/California/NYAC) and the Bruins' Josh Samuels (Villa Park, CA/UCLA/NYAC) all scored two goals to bolster the USA attack. When the dust settled Team USA had gone from down 7-2 to ahead 12-8. Canada scored a goal late but it did not factor in the decision. Also playing on the team but without a goal today was Bruin sophomore Anthony Daboub.
Team USA was 4-for-11 on power plays and 0-for-1 on penalties while Canada converted on 3-of-8 power plays and 1-of-2 penalty shots.
"It was a bad start," said USA Head Coach Dejan Udovicic. "We were basically sleeping in the first two quarters. They weren't in the game and they had to adjust to the refereeing. They are a young team. The average age is 20.4 (years), but they showed the will and motivation to succeed. They wasted opportunities in the first period, turned that around and took all the opportunities in the second half. They need more international experience. The goalie was born in 1995!”
Team USA is back in action on Tuesday when they meet Australia at 7:30 a.m. PT. All matches from the tourney will be streamed live and can be accessed by clicking here (Dubai TV).
Group B: USA vs. Canada
Referees: Ziliang Chen (CHN), German Moller (ARG)
Power Plays: USA: 4-for-11; CAN: 3-for-8
Penalties: USA: 0-for-1; CAN: 1-for-2
Goals: USA: Alex Bowen 3, Alex Obert 2, Michael Rosenthal 2, Josh Samuels 2, John Mann 2, Nolan McConnell 1. CAN: Scott Robinson 2, Oliver Vikalo 1, Nicolas Constantin-Bicari 1, Justin Boyd 1, Kevin Graham 1, Dusan Radojcic 1, John Conway 1, Jared McElroy 1.