Thursday, December 26, 2013

USA tops Czech Republic in WJC opener

The defending champion United States opened up their 2014 World Junior Championship slate with a solid 5-1 victory over the Czech Republic on Thursday in Malmo.

It was locked up by the 2:02 mark of the opening period, when Riley Barber and Will Butcher beat Daniel Dolejs with the first two shots of the contest -- both coming on power plays.

Hudson Fasching, Jacob Slavin and Vince Hinostroza also lit the lamp for the Americans, while Jon Gillies made his WJC debut by making 23 saves.

In all, 13 players recorded at least one point in the contest.

Michal Plutnar picked up the lone score for the Czechs, and Dolejs stopped 28 shots in the setback.

Fashing converted an Andrew Copp rebound just prior to the midway point of regulation, and USA led 4-0 at the second intermission thanks to a Slavin rebound try inside of three minutes left.

Hinostroza's backhander on a breakaway accounted for the final margin with 2:11 remaining in the contest.

Team USA squares off with Slovakia on Saturday morning.

Earlier in the day, Russia slammed Norway by an 11-0 count, while Anthony Mantha's hat trick fueled Canada's 7-2 rout of Germany. 

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