UFA, Russia – The U.S. National Junior Team topped Germany, 8-0, in its opening game of the 2013 International Ice Hockey Federation World Junior Championship here tonight at Ufa Arena. Twelve different players recorded points for Team USA, including eight different goal scorers. The line of Sean Kuraly (Dublin, Ohio/Miami Univ.), Alex Galchenyuk (Milwaukee, Wis./Sarnia Sting) and Reilly Barber (Livonia, Mich./Miami Univ.) starred, combining for three goals and five assists.
“Overall, we played a well-balanced game,” said Phil Housley, head coach of the U.S. National Junior Team. “We got the start we needed to build a good pace and flow to the game. One thing I was really proud of was that when we did have the lead we didn’t get away from the team game. We realized what got us the lead and they really focused on being aware of that over the three periods so I was really pleased with that.”
Team USA got the tournament off to a fast start, scoring just 19 seconds into the first frame. After breaking out of their own zone, Kuraly, Galchenyuk and Barber took advantage of an odd-man rush. The trio snuck past the Germany defense with two crisp passes before Kuraly deked German goaltender Marvin Cupper for the game’s first tally. Jacob Trouba (Rochester, Mich./Univ. of Michigan) pushed the U.S. lead to two at the 8:30 mark. Blake Pietila (Brighton, Mich./Michigan Tech) cycled the puck down low before finding Trouba on the point. Trouba collected the pass and sent a hard wrist-shot low into the net. Just 1:24 later, Galchenyuk made it a 3-0 game. Walking the puck up out of the corner, Galchenyuk found ample space to circle around the faceoff circle and skate down into the slot before putting the puck into the top corner of the net.
Barber got the U.S. off to another fast start in the second stanza, scoring his second goal just 14 seconds into the middle frame on a Galchenyuk feed. At the 6:33 marker, Shayne Gostisbehere (Margate, Fla./Union College) scored the first power-play goal for Team USA. Taking a feed from Seth Jones (Plano, Texas/Portland Winterhawks), Gostisbehere hammered a one-timer into the top corner. Less than two minutes later, Ryan Hartman (West Dundee, Ill./Plymouth Whalers) capitalized to give the U.S. a 6-0 lead. Cole Bardreau (Fairpoint, N.Y./Cornell Univ.) exposed a botched line change by Germany and found Pietila streaking down center ice for a breakaway. Cupper made the initial stop, but Hartman picked up the rebound for the tally. The U.S. then killed a five-on-three Germany power play, featuring five stops from U.S. goaltender John Gibson (Pittsburgh, Pa./Kitchener Rangers), giving him 19 stops through two periods before being replaced by Jon Gillies (South Portland, Maine/Providence College).
In the final frame, Team USA killed off three straight penalties before J.T. Miller (East Palestine, Ohio/Connecticut Whale) stole the puck during four-on-four play to give the U.S. a 7-0 lead. Jones scored the eighth U.S. goal, making it eight different goal scorers on the day for the U.S.
Gibson stopped all 19 shots he faced for the win, while Gillies picked up seven stops for the U.S. and Cupper turned in a 38 save performance for Germany.
Team USA next plays Friday (Dec. 28) in Ufa, Russia, against the host country. Game time is 8 p.m. local time (9 a.m. ET) with NHL Network (DirectTV 215, Dish 403) broadcasting live and NHL.com streaming live.
NOTES: Alex Galchenyuk was named Team USA’s Player of the Game … 12 different players notched points for the U.S. .. For the most thorough coverage of Team USA at the 2013 IIHF World Junior Championship, click here … NHL Network is broadcasting all Team USA games live and re-airing them in prime time each night. NHL.com is also streaming all games live … Phil Housley (South St. Paul, Minn.), head boy’s ice hockey coach at Stillwater (Minn.) High School, is the head coach of the 2013 U.S. National Junior Team. He is assisted by Mark Osiecki (Columbus, Ohio), head men’s ice hockey coach at Ohio State University, Grant Potulny (Minneapolis, Minn.), assistant men’s ice hockey coach at the University of Minnesota and David Lassonde (Denver, Colo.), assistant men’s ice hockey coach at the University of Denver … Jim Johannson (Colorado Springs, Colo.), USA Hockey’s assistant executive director of hockey operations, is serving as the general manager of Team USA for the fourth consecutive year. Tim Taylor (Guilford, Conn.) is the director of player personnel … Use the hashtag #USAWJC to join the conversation on Twitter.
Source: USA Hockey Media