The first half of the New Year’s tournament in Texas has finished. Spain defeated Team USA 11:9 in the third match of the tournament at the LISD Westside Aquatic Centre in Lewisville.
The Spaniards trailed most of the match, just like against Serbia in the 2nd round. Still, they took control at the finish of the third period, which was enough for an 11:9 victory.
After three matches in Lewisville, world champion Spain has two wins, Team USA one, while Serbia is winless. The tournament continues in Dallas after New Year’s Eve.
USA – Spain 9:11 (3:1, 2:4, 4:5, 0:1)
USA: Holland, Hooper , Stevenson 2, Dunstan, Daube, Cupido, Hallock 2, D. Woodhead 2, Bowen 2, C. Dodd 1, Ehrhardt, R. Dodd, Avakian, Weinberg. Head coach: Udovicic.
Spain: Aguirre, Valls 1, Granados 4, Sanahuja, Valera, Larumbe 3, Paul, Cabanas 1, Tahull 1, Asensio, Mallarach 3, Bustos,Motos, Gomilla. Head coach: Martin.
Team USA started well. The hosts earned an opening 2:0 lead, while they entered the second period with a 3:1 advantage. The Spaniards started coming back step by step. In the 14th minute, they leveled the score for the first time (Valls made it 4:4). Ben Hallock gave the USA a 5:4 advantage 55 seconds before the middle break. However, Alvaro Granados closed the first half by converting a penalty and the sides were tied at 5:5 at halftime.
Both teams had ups and downs in the third quarter, which saw even nine goals. The Americans scored the first three goals in this period, and built a nice 8:5 lead in the middle of the third period. However, they couldn’t keep a big advantage. Spain caught up with Team USA in the 23rd minute – Alvaro Granados found the net from a counterattack for 8:8. Hallock responded immediately with an action goal (9:8), but Tahull equalized (9:9) shortly after. Just 15 seconds before the end of the third period, Granados converted a man-up after a quick attack and Spain went in front for the first time – 10:9.
After nine goals in the third period, both teams tightened their defenses in the final eight minutes. Blai Mallarach was the only one who scored a goal in the fourth period and Spain took three points with an 11:9 victory.
Standings: 1. Spain 6 (2), 2. USA 3 (2), 3. Serbia 0 (2).
The tournament continues on January 1 (January 2 CET) in Dallas, with the game Spain – Serbia.