The United States defeated Kazakhstan, 12-0, Tuesday in its third of four preliminary-round games at the 2009 International Ice Hockey Federation World Junior Championship.
The victory moves the U.S. to 3-0 and a much-anticipated date with unbeaten Canada Wednesday to determine the winner of Group A. The winner receives a bye to the tournament semifinals on Jan. 3, while the loser will play a quarterfinal game on Jan. 2.
Despite some good chances, it wasn’t until 16:26 of the opening stanza that Ian Cole (Ann Arbor, Mich./University of Notre Dame) found the back of the net on a blast from the top of the circle with the U.S. on the power play. Aaron Palushaj (Northville, Mich./University of Michigan) scored :41 later from the left circle, before Drayson Bowman (Littleton, Colo.) gave Team USA a 3-0 advantage at 18:59.
Colin Wilson (Greenwich, Conn./Boston University) scored goals :19 apart in the opening 1:11 of the second stanza to stake the U.S. a 5-0 lead. The U.S. tallied three more goals in the period, including power-play tallies by James van Riemsdyk (Middletown, N.J./University of New Hampshire) and Palushaj sandwiched around a Danny Kristo (Eden Prairie, Minn./Omaha) goal.
With the U.S. on a five-on-three power play, Mike Hoeffel (North Oaks, Minn./University of Minnesota) banged the puck past netminder Andrei Yankov after a scrum in front of the Kazakhstan net at 10:08 of the third period to make it 9-0. Team USA tallied three more goals, finished off by Matt Rust’s (Bloomfield Hills, Mich./University of Michigan) marker at 19:55.
Thomas McCollum (Sanborn, N.Y.) stopped all 10 shots he faced, including seven in the third period, to account for the shutout.
The U.S. National Junior Team returns to action Wednesday when it faces Canada at 7:30 p.m. EST in the final preliminary-round game at the 2009 IIHF World Junior Championship in Ottawa, Ont. The game can be seen live in the United States on the NHL Network.
Notes: Seventeen players tallied at least one point for Team USA in the win … Cade Fairchild (Duluth, Minn./University of Minnesota) was named Team USA’s Player of the Game … 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 Hockeyâ€™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 in the 2009 IIHF World Junior Championship … 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.