Five players tallied at least two points apiece, including a goal and three assists from Jordan Schroeder (Prior Lake, Minn./University of Minnesota) and two goals by Drayson Bowman (Littleton, Colo.), to help the United States defeat Germany, 8-2, Friday in its opening game at the 2009 IIHF World Junior Championship.
With the U.S. on a five-on-three power play, Colin Wilson (Greenwich, Conn./Boston University) banged home a cross-crease pass from Schroeder at 8:23 to give the U.S. a 1-0 lead. After Germany tied the game at 12:08, Bowman scored off a rebound with 2:03 left in the period and Team USA had a 2-1 advantage after 20 minutes.
“I thought we were tentative in the first period, but came out and had a much better second,” said U.S. head coach Ron Rolston. “Overall, it was a good start to the tournament.”
Schroeder made a near end-to-end rush up the right wall, cut to the faceoff dot and the beat German netminder Timo Pielmeier high to the glove side just :20 into the second period to stake the U.S. to a 3-1 advantage.
After James van Riemsdyk (Middletown, N.J./University of New Hampshire) converted a three-way passing play that included Wilson and Schroeder on the power play at 12:43, Tyler Johnson (Spokane, Wash.) scored on a backhand shot that went in and out of the net so quickly that it was only credited after an official review at 14:27.
Philipp Grubauer replaced Pielmeier in the German net to start the third and just :35 into the period he allowed his first goal as van Riemsdyk scored from the side of the net. Bowman fired the puck home from between the circles at 6:26 to put the U.S. ahead 6-1.
After Germany gained its second goal of the game, Matt Rust (Bloomfield Hills, Mich./University of Michigan) carried the puck from the U.S. end, broke between two German defenders at the blueline, and scored with one second left in regulation to account for the 8-2 final.
U.S. netminder Thomas McCollum (Sanborn, N.Y.) made 16 saves to earn the victory.
The U.S. National Junior Team returns to action Sunday (Dec. 28) when it faces the Czech Republic at 7:30 p.m. EST in its second game at the 2009 IIHF World Junior Championship in Ottawa. The game can be seen live in the United States on the NHL Network.
Notes: Bowman was named the U.S. Player of the Game … Team USA won its opening game of the IIHF World Junior Championship for the fifth time in six years … Team USA outshot Germany, 46-18, including by a 14-4 margin in the final period … Eleven players tallied at least one point for Team USA in the win … Defenseman Jonathon Blum (Rancho Santa Margarita, Calif.) is the captain of the 2009 U.S. National Junior Team, while forward Colin Wilson and defenseman Kevin Shattenkirk (New Rochelle, N.Y./Boston University) are the team’s alternate captains … Ron Rolston (Ann Arbor, Mich.), head coach of the U.S. National Under-18 Team within USA Hockey’s National Team Development Program, is the head coach of the 2009 U.S. National Junior Team. Nate Leaman (Clifton Park, N.Y./Union College) and P.K. O’Handley (Waterloo, Iowa/Waterloo Black Hawks) are serving as assistant coaches, while Jeff Blashill (Indianapolis, Ind./Indiana Ice) is the goaltending coach … The NHL Network will broadcast live all Team USA games … Team USA finished fourth at the 2008 IIHF World Junior Championship and has played for a medal in the event each of the last six years.