2014 World Junior Championships: Live Thread, USA vs Slovakia (6:30am CST)

Bruce Bennett

Up early? How about USA vs Slovakia on NHL Network at 7:30am CST...

2014 IIHF World Junior Championships Game 2: United States vs Slovkia

This may not get used much (6:30 in the morning on a Saturday? Yuck) but for you early birds and out-of-towners here's a thread to discuss the United States' second outing at the WJC against Slovakia.

Slovakia is overlooked, generally, when it comes to these competitions but put more goals (9) on Germany than did Canada (7) so there's something there. USA plays Germany, by the way,on Sunday morning en route to their Tuesday meeting with Canada on New Years Eve.

Go USA. Find this one on the NHL Network, and streaming live on NHL.com.

From the IIHF website...

"Last year, the Americans dispatched the Czechs 7-0 in the quarter-finals, and even though there are only three returning U.S. players here in Malmö, the current gap between the two countries at the U20 level was still apparent.

Riley Barber, Will Butcher, Hudson Fasching, Jaccob Slavin and Vince Hinostroza scored for the United States, which just had too much well-organized speed, strength, and skill for the Czechs to counter. And it wasn't if as coach Miroslav Prerost's squad wasn't trying.

"It's always good to get the cobwebs out and get a convincing win," said Barber. "I thought our team played great."

Defenceman Michal Plutnar had the lone goal for the Czechs.

Goalie Jon Gillies, who played just 20 minutes behind MVP John Gibson in last year's tournament in Russia, recorded his first World Junior win as a starter. The U.S. outshot the Czechs 33-24.

The Czechs, who are seeking their first medal since 2005's bronze, got off to a terrible start.

It took just 1:21 for the Americans to open the scoring on the power play. Barber, the American captain, raced down left wing, and let a backhand go from the side boards. Somehow, it squeezed past the right skate of Czech netminder Daniel Dolejs from a bad angle."

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