Team USA opens World Juniors with 5-1 win over Czech Republic

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

Preliminary U.S. World Junior roster boasts 19 NCAA players

After golden World Juniors apprenticeship, Providence's Gillies ready for leadership role

Miami’s Barber named U.S. World Junior captain, Compher and Fitzgerald among cuts

Team USA grabbed a two-goal lead following a pair of power-play markers just 41 seconds apart in the opening minutes of the contest from captain Riley Barber (Miami) at 1:21 and then Will Butcher (Denver) at the 2:02 mark.

“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.