MONCTON, New Brunswick – Logan Cooley (West Mifflin, Pa.), Cutter Gauthier (Scottsdale, Ariz.) and Jimmy Snuggerud (Chaska, Minn.) had two points apiece to lift the U.S. National Junior Team to a 5-1 victory over Switzerland tonight at Avenir Centre in its third preliminary round game of the 2023 IIHF World Junior Championship.
Team USA will round out preliminary round play in the World Juniors Saturday (Dec. 31) against Finland. Opening faceoff is set for 5:00 p.m. local time/4:00 p.m. ET at the Avenir Centre and the game can be seen live on NHL Network.
“I really liked the way we bounced back tonight,” said Rand Pecknold, head coach of the U.S. National Junior Team and also the head men’s ice hockey coach at Quinnipiac University. “We did a good job on the forecheck and generated a lot of zone time. We’ll look forward to a day off tomorrow and get ready for a tough Finland team on Saturday.”
After several great chances throughout the opening frame, Snuggerud broke through with just 1:55 left in the period, banging home a one-timer on the doorstep off a backhand pass from Cooley behind the net. Gauthier also picked up an assist.
Just over five minutes into the second, Dylan Duke (Strongsville, Ohio) drew a tripping penalty and just 24 seconds later, Rutger McGroarty (Lincoln, Neb.) fed a no-look pass between the legs to Cooley, who sent a one-timer over the shoulder of Swiss goaltender Alessio Beglieri for a 2-0 lead. Gauthier earned his second assist of the night on the play.
Snuggerud added another power-play goal to the U.S. tally with 3:20 to play in the period, burying a wrister top shelf from the right faceoff circle after Switzerland was called for cross-checking. Jackson Blake (Fargo, N.D.) and Ryan Ufko (Smithtown, N.Y.) each picked up assists on the goal.
Tyler Boucher (Haddonfield, N.J.) made things 4-0 less than two minutes later, sending home a rebound from the slot off a shot from Ryan Chesley (Mahtomedi, Minn.). Sam Lipkin (Philadelphia, Pa.) also tallied an assist. Switzerland got on the board with 27 seconds left in the period, scoring off the faceoff.
Team USA captain Luke Hughes (Canton, Mich.) scored the game’s final goal with 6:57 remaining, picking up the puck in-stride from Sean Behrens (Barrington, Ill.) and ripping a wrist shot past Beglieri. Red Savage (Scottsdale, Ariz.) also earned up an assist.
Trey Augustine (South Lyon, Mich.) picked up the win with 18 saves in the U.S. net.
NOTES: Logan Cooley was named Team USA’s Player of the Game … A total of 12 different players contributed points in the game … The U.S. was 2-3 on the power play, while Switzerland was 0-2 … Team USA outshot Switzerland by a 42-19 count … For Team USA’s roster and schedule, click here.