LANDSHUT, Germany - Rutger McGroarty (Lincoln, Neb.), Cole Spicer (Grand Forks, N.D.) and Will Smith (Lexington, Mass.) all scored twice as Team USA skated past Germany, 10-2, Tuesday night to sweep preliminary-round play at the 2022 IIHF Under-18 Men's World Championship.
Team USA got on the board just 44 seconds into regulation. Ryan Chesley (Mahtomedi, Minn.) found Cruz Lucius (Grant, Minn.) with a quick outlet pass and Lucius traveled through the neutral zone, moving from right wing to left. He positioned himself behind the Germany cage before centering a feed to McGroarty in the slot, where the captain one-timed it in for a 1-0 lead.
The U.S. quickly doubled its lead off a Smith shot from the left circle. Hard on the forecheck, Jimmy Snuggerud (Chaska, Minn.) won a board battle and sauced a backhand feed to Smith from the right wing. Smith, playing in his first game of the tournament, collected and settled the puck before firing his shot off the shoulder of Simon Wolf and in at 6:29 of the first.
Devin Kaplan (Bridgewater, N.J.) made it 3-0 before the end of the period when he snapped a quick wrister into the top left corner. From behind the German net, Ryan Leonard (Amherst, Mass.) found Seamus Powell (Marcellus, N.Y.) along the right half-wall. The defenseman threaded a pass to Kaplan, who made no mistake with his shot for his first score of the tournament.
McGroarty added his second of the night 25 seconds into the middle frame as both of his scores came within the first minute of a period. Lucius wheeled at the right circle looking for time and space and found Lane Hutson (North Barrington, Ill.) down the left wing. Hutson sent his pass to McGroarty, stationed at the far post, where he fired in for a 4-0 lead.
Less than four minutes later, Cutter Gauthier (Scottsdale, Ariz.) put his name into the goal column with a snipe on the power play. Seamus Casey (Fort Myers, Fla.) gave it to Logan Cooley (Pittsburgh, Pa.) at the top of the left circle. He hesitated to draw the defense before feathering a pass to Gauthier at the right dot, where he converted on a one-timer.
Off a Germany defensive-zone turnover, Kaplan came up with the loose puck and found a cutting Spicer alone in the slot. He collected and potted a quick wrister over the blocker of Wolf near the midway mark of the contest.
Spicer made it back-to-back scores after he collected his own rebound and got the second chance to go. Lucius, again from behind the Germany net, set up the score that made it 7-0.
Hutson set up Charlie Stramel (Rosemount, Minn.) for a breakaway goal to make it 8-0 in favor of USA after 40 minutes.
Halfway through the final period, Germany's Daniel Assavolyuk put the team on the board with a power-play score.
Smith netted a power-play goal to answer and Casey scored with less than five minutes to play to add to Team USA's lead.
Germany scored its second of the game when Luka Hauf's backhand shot squeaked past U.S. goaltender Trey Augustine (South Lyon, Mich.) and slid across the goal line.
Augustine turned aside 20 shots to pick up his second win in as many starts at the tournament.
With the victory, the U.S. wins Group A and will advance to face Latvia in the quarterfinals, Thursday at 7:30 p.m. (1:30 p.m. ET) back here at Fanatec Arena and broadcast live on NHL Network.
NOTES: Cole Spicer, who scored twice, was named the U.S. Player of the Game ... Team USA outshot Germany, 55-22 ... For complete tournament news, including full schedule, broadcast information, stats and standings, click here ... Team USA news, including tournament interviews and highlights, can be found at TeamUSA.USAHockey.com ... The U.S. has won 10 gold medals in IIHF U18 Men's World Championship history, the most of any country ... Follow @USAHockey on Twitter for the latest information and updates throughout the tournament.