US reaches world junior quarterfinals with rout
UFA, Russia (AP) - The United States advanced to the quarterfinals of the world junior hockey championships Monday with a 9-3 rout of Slovakia.
The Americans' prospects of reaching the knockout round had looked uncertain after a 2-1 loss to Canada a day earlier, but they dominated the Slovaks almost from the start.
Cole Bardreau opened the scoring in the fourth minute on a breakaway off a feed from Ryan Hartman, but Slovakia's Matus Matis tied it 14 seconds later. The Americans gradually built an insurmountable lead, helped by two goals apiece from Vince Trocheck and John Gaudreau, and led 8-2 after the second period. Goaltender John Gibson made 26 saves for Team USA. (Game summary and boxscore)
"A lot of guys that haven't been scoring found the net tonight, like John Gaudreau and Vince Trocheck," said U.S. head coach Phil Housley. "Our power play was sharp tonight as was our penalty kill. Still, we need to improve our discipline and stay out of the penalty box as we look ahead to the quarterfinals."
The U.S. will play the Czech Republic on Wednesday.
Canada stayed in first place in Group B by downing Russia 4-1. Jonathan Huberdeau, Mark Scheifele, Dougie Hamilton and Jonathan Drouin scored for Canada. Nikita Kucherov scored in the 17th minute for Russia, which will next play Switzerland.
In Group A, the Czech Republic beat Switzerland 4-3 in overtime. Tomas Hertl scored the winner on a pass from Dmitrij Jaskin. Group leader Sweden defeated regional rival Finland 7-4, demoting Finland to the relegation round.
Group leaders Canada and Sweden draw byes in the quarterfinals.
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