Team USA remained a perfect 3-0-0-0 atop the Group A standings following an easy 8-0 win over Germany this afternoon at the Isstadion.
The win was aided in part by Germany’s ability to dress only 17 skaters as three regulars were injured and unable to play. It was fueled also to a more common form of man-advantage situation in that the U.S. got six of their goals via the power play.
Four of those goals came in a record-tying second period. The only other team at U20 play to score as many was Czechoslovakia, against USA, in the second period, January 3, 1988.
The win was the third impressive showing for the defending champions in advance of their showdown with Canada on New Year’s Eve. For the Germans, it marked their third straight loss and puts them in a precarious situation before their final game tomorrow against the Czechs.
Germany has zero points and the Czechs, in fourth place, have two. It is critical for Germany to win if it hopes to avoid the best-of-three relegation in the New Year.
The Germans had a good chance to get an early goal when they had a lengthy two-man advantage. Nic Kerdiles took a hooking penalty and 37 seconds later the Americans were called for too many men. But the Germans created precious few good chances after which it was just a matter of time before the U.S. scored.
This they accomplished on a screen shot from Hudson Fasching. He skated in over the blue line, used the defenceman to block goalie Patrick Klein, and ripped a long shot between Klein’s legs.
Less than four minutes later the U.S. made it 2-0 on a power play. Vince Hinostroza made a cross-ice pass in the German zone which was tipped by a defender, but the puck landed on the tape of Kerdiles who ripped a shot to the top corner before Klein could get over.
The Germans could not have got off to a worse start in the second. Just ten seconds in, captain Leon Draisaitl drilled Andrew Copp into the end boards from behind and received a major and game misconduct. Then, during that five-minute short-handed situation, Sven Ziegler took a minor, leaving the team with only 11 available skaters on the bench.
Sure enough, the Americans pounced, scoring twice and putting the game out of reach. Jack Eichel fed Will Butcher who snapped a winner past Klein at 2:21 and a minute later Hinostroza got his second of the night by rifling a loose puck over the goalie’s shoulder.
Later in the period the Americans got another power-play goal courtesy of captain Riley Barber to make it 5-0.
The U.S. added to their power-play total with another midway through the third when a Matt Grzelcyk point shot was tipped in front by Steven Santini. Hinostroza added a late goal.
(Nathan can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org)
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