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U.S. Blanks Czech Republic, 7-0, in WJC Quarterfinals

01/02/2016, 1:15pm EST
By USAHockey.com

Matthews Records Hat Trick; U.S. To Face Russia in Semifinals Monday

HELSINKI, FinlandAuston Matthews (Scottsdale, Ariz./Zurich) had a hat trick, Nick Schmaltz (Verona, Wis./University of North Dakota) recorded a goal and two assists, and Alex Nedeljkovic (Parmo, Ohio/Niagara) stopped all 28 shots he faced as the U.S. National Junior Team defeated the Czech Republic, 7-0, in a quarterfinal matchup at the 2016 International Ice Hockey Federation World Junior Championship here tonight in Helsinki, Finland.

With the win, Team USA advances to the semifinals and will face Russia on Monday (Jan. 4) at 1 p.m. ET. The game will be broadcast live on NHL Network.

"I'm really proud of the effort our players showed here tonight," said Ron Wilson, head coach of the U.S. National Junior Team. "We had contributions from every line and all situations. I like where our team is at and we're looking forward to the next game."

The U.S. got on the board after forcing a turnover deep in the Czech Republic zone at 5:17 of the opening period. Brock Boeser (Burnsville, Minn./University of North Dakota) skated around the perimeter and sent a feed to Schmaltz, who found the top corner of the net on a backhanded shot at the left post.

Christian Dvorak (Palos, Ill/London) doubled Team USA’s lead with 4:46 remaining in the first period when he knocked in a loose puck in the crease.

Matthews netted a pair of goals in the first half of the second period, including a power-play marker at 4:15 and and even strength goal at 9:08 to give the U.S. a 4-0 advantage.

With 1:56 to play in the middle stanza, Scott Eansor (Englewood, Colo./Seattle) forced a turnover at the U.S. blue line that he converted into a breakaway shorthanded goal to put Team USA up 5-0 heading into the third period.

The U.S. started the final period on a power play after the Czech Republic took a tripping penalty in the final minute of the second frame. Matthews snaked a shot through traffic from between the top of the circles :24 into the third period to complete his hat trick.

With 8:07 to play, Alex DeBrincat (Farmington Hills, Mich./Erie) converted on a pass from Ryan Donato (Scituate, Mass./Harvard University) to account for the 7-0 final.

NOTES: Nick Schmaltz was named the U.S. Player of the Game ... The U.S. outshot the Czech Republic, 35-28 ... For complete box score, click here ... The U.S. is 4-0-0-1 (W-OTW-OTL-L) at the 2016 IIHF World Junior Championship ... Auston Matthews has seven goals in this year's World Juniors, the most of any player in the tournament. Matthews' seven goals is one short of tying the U.S. single-tournament record of eight held by Jeremy Roenick (1989) ... Alex Nedeljkovic leads all goaltenders in the World Juniors in both goals against average (1.15) and save percentage (.954) ... The U.S. has two shorthanded goals in the tournament, the most of any team ... Team USA has scored 25 goals in its first five games of the 2016 IIHF World Junior Championship and allowed just five goals ... For more information on the 2016 U.S. National Junior Team, including a full roster, click here ... Use the hashtag #USAWJC on Twitter to join the conversation about the U.S. National Junior Team … All U.S. games will be broadcast live on NHL Network. For more information about the tournament, please click here

Check back for highlights and post-game comments from Team USA.

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Team USA Schedule

Date Opponent Location Result U.S. Player of the Game
Sat., Dec. 26 Canada Helsinki Ice Hall W, 4-2 Colin White
Mon., Dec. 28 Sweden Helsinki Ice Hall L, 0-1 Zach Werenski
Wed., Dec. 30 Switzerland Helsinki Ice Hall W, 10-1 Auston Matthews
Thu., Dec. 31 Denmark Helsinki Ice Hall W, 4-1 Brandon Carlo
Sat., Jan. 2 Czech Republic
Quarterfinals
Helsinki Ice Hall W, 7-0 Nick Schmaltz
Mon., Jan. 4 Russia
Semifinals
Hartwall Arena L, 1-2 Christian Dvorak
Tues. , Jan. 5 Sweden
Bronze Medal Game
Hartwall Arena W, 8-3 Anders Bjork

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