Keller pots a pair as U.S. starts World Juniors with big win over Latvia

Clayton Keller (Boston University) netted two goals and 10 other players registered a point as the U.S. National Junior Team defeated Latvia 6-1 in its opening game of the 2017 World Junior Championship Monday afternoon at the Air Canada Centre in Toronto.

2017 World Junior Championship

Dec. 26, 2016-Jan. 5, 2017, Toronto and Montreal

United States schedule (all times Eastern and all games on NHL Network):

Monday, Dec. 26: U.S. 6, Latvia 1

Wednesday, Dec. 28: U.S. 5, Slovakia 2

Thursday, Dec. 29: U.S. 3, Russia 2

Saturday, Dec. 31: U.S. 3, Canada 1

Monday, Jan. 2: Quarterfinals -- U.S. 3, Switzerland 2

Wednesday, Jan. 4: Semifinals -- U.S. 4, Russia 3, shootout

Thursday, Jan. 5: Gold-medal game: U.S. 5, Canada 4, shootout

The U.S. has now won its last 10 opening games of the World Juniors.

“We got better as the game went on,” said Team USA coach Bob Motzko (St. Cloud State) in a statement. “You could tell there were some nerves in the first period, but after the guys settled in, we found our style of play and got the job done.

“We’ll learn from this as we get ready for the next one.”

Colin White (Boston College) tallied a goal and an assist, while Patrick Harper (BU), Jordan Greenway (BU) and Jeremy Bracco (Kitchener Rangers, formerly of BC) posted one goal each. Troy Terry (Denver) and Tage Thompson (Connecticut) rang up two assists apiece.

London Knights goalie Tyler Parsons made 11 saves for the win in goal.

Team USA (1-0-0-0) continues preliminary-round play on Wednesday against Slovakia at 7:30 p.m. EDT. The game will be televised live on the NHL Network.