KINGSTON, Ont. - Tage Thompson (Orange, Conn./University of Connecticut) scored twice and Joseph Woll (St. Louis, Mo./Boston College) stopped all 23 shots he faced as the U.S. National Junior Team shut out the Czech Republic, 4-0, here tonight at the Rogers K-Rock Centre.
"We felt we had a much better demeanor tonight," said Bob Motzko (St. Cloud, Minn./St. Cloud State University), head coach of the 2017 U.S. National Junior Team. "We got away from our game plan at times, but overall it was another real good step for us moving forward. We're ready to get things going in Toronto next week."
The game was the final tuneup for Team USA in preparation of the 2017 International Ice Hockey Federation World Junior Championship. Tournament play opens Monday, Dec. 26, with Team USA set to face Latvia at the Air Canada Centre in Toronto. Puck drop is set for 3:30 p.m ET and will be televised live on NHL Network.
Team USA opened the scoring 8:10 into the contest when Colin White (Hanover, Mass./Boston College) won the draw at the left faceoff dot for Thompson to collect the puck and fire a wrist shot past Czech Republic's goaltender, Jakub Skarek.
Three goals in the last 2:57 of the period saw the U.S. enter the first intermission with a 4-0 lead. Thompson started the scoring with his second of the game when he one-timed a pass from White at the top of the crease past Skarek.
Kieffer Bellows (Edina, Minn./Boston University) made it 3-0 just 18 seconds later when Tanner Laczynski (Shorewood, Ill./Ohio State University) won the faceoff cleanly and Bellows fired a wrist shot in at the far post. Jordan Greenway (Canton, N.Y./Boston University) accounted for the final goal of the period when he swiped in a loose puck in the crease off an initial shot by Adam Fox (Jericho, N.Y./Harvard University).
Both teams traded chances but neither were able to convert in the final two periods of play. Woll, who started the game in goal for the United States, stopped a third period penalty shot with a poke-check to help keep the shutout.
NOTES: Team USA outshot the Czech Republic, 31-23 while finishing 0-for-4 on the power play and 4-for-4 on the penalty kill ... USA Hockey will announce the final roster for the 2017 U.S. National Junior Team by Dec. 24 ... Use the hashtag #USAWJC on Twitter to join the conversation about the 2017 U.S. National Junior Team ... At the 2017 IIHF World Junior Championship, the U.S. will compete in a group with Canada, Latvia, Russia and Slovakia. All U.S. games will be broadcast live on NHL Network ... Jim Johannson (Colorado Springs, Colo.), USA Hockey's assistant executive director of hockey operations, is serving as the general manager of Team USA for the eighth consecutive year ... Bob Motzko (St. Cloud, Minn.), head coach of the 2017 U.S. National Junior Team, is joined behind the bench by assistant coaches Greg Brown (Scituate, Mass.), Grant Potulny (Minneapolis, Minn.), Kris Mayotte (Pittsburgh, Pa.) and Steve Miller (Colorado Springs, Colo.) ... USA Hockey’s international council, chaired by Gavin Regan (Potsdam, N.Y.), vice president of USA Hockey, has oversight responsibilities for all U.S. national teams.
|Dec. 21||Switzerland||W, 4-3||Pre-Tournament||Oshawa, Ont.|
|Dec. 23||Czech Republic||7:00 p.m.||Pre-Tournament||Kingston, Ont.|
|Dec. 26||Latvia||3:30 p.m.||Preliminary||Toronto, Ont.|
|Dec. 28||Slovakia||7:30 p.m.||Preliminary||Toronto, Ont.|
|Dec. 29||Russia||3:30 p.m.||Preliminary||Toronto, Ont.|
|Dec. 31||Canada||3:30 p.m.||Preliminary||Toronto, Ont.|
|Jan. 4||TBD||TBD||Semifinals||Montreal, Que.|
|Jan. 5||TBD||3:30 p.m.||Bronze Medal||Montreal, Que.|
|TBD||8:00 p.m.||Gold Medal||Montreal, Que.|