Five different players scored and Providence goaltender Jon Gillies made 23 saves to help the U.S. National Junior Team defeat the Czech Republic 5-1 in the opening game of the 2014 World Junior Championship Thursday in Malmo, Sweden.
2014 World Junior Championship
Dec. 26-Jan. 5, Malmo, Sweden
All U.S. games on NHL Network; times Eastern
Dec. 26: U.S. 5, Czech Republic 1
Dec. 28: U.S. 6, Slovakia 3
Dec. 29: U.S. 8, Germany 0
Dec. 31: Canada 3, U.S. 2
Jan. 2: Quarterfinal — Russia 5, U.S. 3
“When you get the two power-play goals to begin the game and can play with the, lead it’s much, much easier to play the game,” said Team USA coach Don Lucia (Minnesota) in a news release. “Our defense did a good job breaking us out and Jon Gillies was there when we needed him.”
The score remained 2-0 until 9:23 of the middle frame when Hudson Fasching (Minnesota) scored off a rebound.
Jaccob Slavin (Colorado College) made the score 4-0 at 17:03 of the second period and then Vince Hinostroza (Notre Dame) tallied on a breakaway at 17:49 of the third period.
Michal Plutnar converted on a power play at 5:47 of the final period for the Czechs, who got a 28-save outing from goaltender Daniel Dolejs
Stefan Matteau was named player of the game for the Americans.
Team USA is back in action Saturday, Dec. 28, when it takes on Slovakia at 7:30 a.m. EST. The game will be broadcast live on the NHL Network in the United States.