The U.S. Select Team, made up entirely of USHL players, earned a dominating 8-3 win over Russia in the opening game of the 2013 World Junior A Challenge in Yarmouth, Nova Scotia.
Karson Kuhlman (Dubuque Fighting Saints) started the scoring just over a minute after the opening faceoff, and then the U.S. Team exploded for five goals in the second period, including two each from Nick Schmaltz (Green Bay Gamblers) and Zeb Knutson (Sioux Falls Stampede).
Kyle Connor (Youngstown Phantoms) and Shane Eiserman (Dubuque Fighting Saints) netted goals in the third period to round out the scoring. Connor Hurley (Muskegon Lumberjacks) finished the night with four points (1g, 3a) to go along with the four-point game for Schmaltz (2g, 2a). Eleven different skaters recorded at least one point for the United States.
Goaltender Cal Petersen (Waterloo Black Hawks) made 22 saves to record the victory. Russian goaltender Maxim Tretiak, the grandson of legendary goaltender Vladislav Tretiak, suffered the loss after entering the game in the second period in relief of starter Sergei Korobov.
The U.S. Select Team outshot Russia 39-25 and finished 5-of-9 on the power play. They return to the ice in less than 24 hours to take on Canada East in pool play of Group A, who lost to Russia 6-2 in their opening game of the tournament.
In Group B of the six-team tournament, Canada West has jumped out to a 2-0-0 record while both the Czech Republic and Switzerland each have a 0-1-0 record during pool play.
(Nathan can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org)