It’s hard to imagine the Team USA coaching staff picturing a much better start to their World Junior tournament.
The Americans opened up tournament play in Ufa, Russia, with a 8-0 win over Germany Thursday morning (Eastern Time).
Eight different players scored for Team USA, which recorded 46 shots on goal. The Americans scored three goals in the first, three goals in the second, and two in the third.
“Overall, we played a well-balanced game,” said Phil Housley, head coach of the U.S. National Junior Team, in a press release. “We got the start we needed to build a good pace and flow to the game. One thing I was really proud of was that when we did have the lead we didn’t get away from the team game. We realized what got us the lead and they really focused on being aware of that over the three periods so I was really pleased with that.”
Livonia native Riley Barber had a goal and two assists, while his Compuware youth teammate Jacob Trouba (Rochester) also scored for Team USA in the lopsided win. Brighton native Blake Pietila had two assists.
Video from USA Hockey’s official YouTube channel:
Barber’s first assist came just 18 seconds into the contest, when he sprung linemate Sean Kuraly for a short breakaway and the game’s first goal.
Trouba’s goal – the second for Team USA – was a quick shot from the blue line that got through traffic and appeared to break a camera inside the Germany goal.
Former Whalers star J.T. Miller scored, as did current Whaler Ryan Hartman – a pair of NTDP alums, as well.
The line of Barber, Kuraly, and Alex Galchenyuk combined for three goals and five assists. Galchenyuk was named Team USA’s player of the game after recording a goal and two assists.
John Gibson, once a University of Michigan commit, started the game for the U.S., and was replaced by Jon Gillies for the third period. The duo teamed up for a combined 26 saves.
Team USA takes on Russia tomorrow; puck drop is scheduled for 9 a.m. EST.