Saturday, December 24, 2011

U.S. National Junior Team Blanks Slovakia, 5-0, in Final IIHF World Junior Championship Pre-Tournament Game

Press Release

CAMROSE, Alta. -- Charlie Coyle (East Weymouth, Mass./Boston Univ.) scored twice, while Brandon Saad (Gibsonia, Pa./Saginaw Spirit) and Jarred Tinordi (Millersville, Md./London Knights) had a goal and an assist each, as the 2012 U.S. National Junior Team blanked Slovakia, 5-0, tonight at the Three Hills Centennial Arena.

Tonight marked Team USA's final pre-tournament game leading up to the 2012 International Ice Hockey Federation World Junior Championship, which will take place from Monday (Dec. 26) through Jan. 5 in Edmonton and Calgary, Alta.

"Tonight was an extremely physical, hard-fought victory," said Dean Blais, head coach of the U.S. National Junior Team. "I thought our goaltending was very good, and our energy was high."

For the second straight game, Team USA scored in the opening minute of the first period when Coyle tipped an Adam Clendening (Niagara Falls, N.Y.) slap shot past Slovakian starting goalie Dominik Riecicky.

The U.S. opened up a three-goal lead with a pair of power-play goals late in the first period. Saad redirected a pass from Clendening into an open side at 18:12 with his team on a two-man advantage. Then, Jason Zucker (Las Vegas, Nev./Univ. of Denver) found the back of the net just 52 seconds later to make the score 3-0 after one.

Two minutes into the second period, Tinordi pushed the U.S. advantage to four goals when he collected a pass from Emerson Etem (Long Beach, Calif./Medicine Hat Tigers) at the Slovakian blue line, rushed in and fired a shot just under the bar. Coyle's second tally of the night at 8:15 of the second period proved to be the game's final goal.

Jack Campbell (Port Huron, Mich./Sault Ste. Marie Greyhounds) and John Gibson (Pittsburgh, Pa./Kitchener Rangers) combined to make 20 saves in the win, while Slovakian goalies Riecicky and Juraj Simboch stopped 32 shots in a losing effort.

Team USA will play its first preliminary-round game of the IIHF World Junior Championship on Monday (Dec. 26) against Denmark. The game, to be televised on NHL Network U.S., will start at 8:00 p.m. EST.

(Nathan can be reached at

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