USA Beats Czech Republic

December 27, 2013 by  

USA Beats Czech Republic, Five different players scored and goaltender Jon Gillies (South Portland, Maine/Providence College) turned away 23 shots to help the U.S. National Junior Team defeat the Czech Republic, 5-1, in the opening game of the 2014 International Ice Hockey Federation World Junior Championship here today.

“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,” sad Don Lucia, head coach of the U.S. National Junior Team. “Our defense did a good job breaking us out and Jon Gillies was there when we needed him.”

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. Riley Barber (Pittsburgh, Pa./Miami University) collected the first U.S. goal at 1:21 when he beat Czech goaltender Daniel Dolejs from a tight angle. After taking a stretch pass from Matt Grzelcyk (Charlestown, Mass./Boston University), Barber skated wide left around a defender and snuck a backhand shot between Dolejs’ leg and the near post.

The U.S. then doubled its lead when Will Butcher (Sun Prairie, Wis./University of Denver) one-timed a Jack Eichel (North Chelmsford, Mass./U.S. National Under-18 Team) feed over Dolejs’ glove. Following a face-off win and several passes around the zone, Eichel made a perfect cross-crease feed to Butcher, who completed the tic-tac-toe play.

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