Tuesday, December 29, 2009

US Juniors 3-0; Canada Showdown Next

Latvia provided the United States with no test on Tuesday afternoon, as the Americans pounded them 12-1 in preliminary round action. The Americans are now 3-0, have outscored their opponents 22-4 in the three games, and will face Canada on Thursday in Saskatoon in the final preliminary round contest.

The US netted five goals in the first period and poured it on from there. After a lone second period tally, the Yanks exploded for six in the final stanza.

Chris Kreider (Boston College) notched a hat trick for the Americans. Derek Stepan (U. of Wisconsin) scored twice and added two assists. Danny Kristo (U. of North Dakota) and Jason Zucker (USNTDP) each notched two goals. Kyle Palmieri (U. of Notre Dame) added four assists in the game, and Philip McRae (London Knights), Jordan Schroeder (U. of Minnesota), Jake Gardiner (U. of Wisconsin), and Jerry D'Amigo (RPI) each picked up two assists.

Mike Lee (St. Cloud State U.) played the entire game in the nets and turned aside 18 Latvian shots. The US team made good on 12 of 62 shots for the game.

Canada is next for the US. The defending WJC champs have cruised through their initial games and will face off with the Yanks in a prime time contest on New Year's Eve. Although the Americans will be sure not to show the Canadians everything, arguably the tournament's top two teams will certainly provide quite a show.

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