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U.S. National Junior Team Earns 11-3 Win over Denmark in IIHF World Junior Championship Opener

By USA Hockey, 12/26/11, 9:45PM EST


Coyle Nets Hat Trick in Victory

EDMONTON, Alta. -- Charlie Coyle (East Weymouth, Mass./Boston Univ.) scored three goals and Jason Zucker (Las Vegas, Nev./Univ. of Denver) had a goal and two assists, as the 2012 U.S. National Junior Team earned an 11-3 win over Denmark tonight at Rexall Place.

"We still have plenty of work to do," said Dean Blais, head coach of the U.S. National Junior Team. "But getting that first win under our belts was important, and there was a lot of good to build on."

The U.S. took a 1-0 lead just 24 seconds into the contest when Coyle redirected a shot by Jon Merrill (Brighton, Mich./Univ. of Michigan) past Denmark goaltender Sebastian Feuk.

Denmark tied the score with a power-play goal at 3:12 of the first. But Team USA regained the lead less than 90 seconds later when Zucker fired a shot low past Feuk's glove. Then, Jarred Tinordi (Millersville, Md./London Knights) made the score 3-1 when his shot bounced off of the back of a Denmark defender and into the net.

The U.S. exploded in the second period with six goals. Nick Bjugstad (Blaine, Minn./Univ. of Minnesota) connected on a one-timer at 1:25 that found its way through Feuk's pads. Then, Coyle notched his second of the night on the power play at 7:12 to make the score 5-2.

Team USA's Kyle Rau (Eden Prairie, Minn./Univ. of Minnesota), Bill Arnold (Needham, Mass./Boston College) and J.T. Miller (East Palestine, Ohio/Plymouth Whalers) combined for three goals in less than two minutes midway through the second to extend the U.S. advantage to six goals. Then, Rau collected his second goal of the night at 16:01 of the period when a shot by Austin Watson (Ann Arbor, Mich./Peterborough Petes) ricocheted off his pads and over the goal line.

Following another Denmark power-play goal four minutes into the third, the U.S. closed out the scoring with Coyle's third goal and a late slap shot tally by Stephen Johns (Wampum, Pa./Univ. of Notre Dame).

Jack Campbell (Port Huron, Mich./Sault Ste. Marie Greyhounds) made 21 saves in the win, while Denmark goalies Feuk and Dennis Jensen combined to make 33 saves in a losing effort.

Team USA will play its second preliminary-round game of the 2012 IIHF World Junior Championship on Wednesday (Dec. 28) against Finland. The game, to be televised on NHL Network U.S., will start at 1:30 p.m. EST.

NOTES: Charlie Coyle was named Team USA's Player of the Game ... Team USA finished 3-for-4 on the power play, while Denmark was 3-for-3 with the man advantage ... In other tournament action, Canada defeated Finland, 8-1, while Sweden topped Lavia, 9-4, and Russia blanked Switzerland, 3-0 ... NHL Network U.S. will televise all Team USA games in the 2012 IIHF World Junior Championship and 15 games total in the event.  The U.S. National Junior Team is coming off back-to-back medals in the IIHF World Junior Championship for the first time ever, having earned a bronze medal in last year's event in Buffalo, N.Y., and a gold medal at the 2010 World Junior Championship in Saskatoon, Sask. ... Dean Blais, head men's ice hockey coach at the University of Nebraska Omaha, is serving as head coach of the 2012 U.S. National Junior Team. He is assisted by Scott Sandelin, head men's ice hockey coach at the University of Minnesota Duluth; Tom Ward, head ice hockey coach of the Shattuck-St. Mary's School's boys' prep team; and Joe Exter, assistant men's ice hockey coach at Ohio State University ... Jim Johannson, USA Hockey's assistant executive director of hockey operations, is serving as the general manager of Team USA for the third consecutive year. Tim Taylor (Guilford, Conn.), former U.S. Olympic Men's Ice Hockey Team head coach and longtime Yale University men's ice hockey team head coach, is also serving his third straight year as Team USA's director of player personnel ... The U.S. National Junior Team blog will provide daily updates with game recaps, photos and multimedia content. The blog can be found here ... Use the hashtag #USAWJC to join the conversation on Twitter.


Scoring By Period

USA 3 - 6 - 2 - 11
DEN 2 - 0 - 1 - 3

First Period - Scoring: 1, USA, Coyle (Merrill, Zucker), 0:24; 2, DEN, Hansen (N. Jensen, Bjorkstrand), 3:12 (pp); 3, USA, Zucker (Forbort), 4:41; 4, USA, Tinordi (Miller), 8:26; 5, DEN, Hansen (Spelling, Bjorkstrand), 9:04 (pp). Penalties: USA, Tinordi (delaying-the-game), 2:27; USA, Merrill (hooking), 8:54; DEN, Christensen (slashing), 15:49.

Second Period - Scoring: 6, USA, Bjugstad (Czarnik, Clendening), 1:25; 7, USA, Coyle (Saad, Etem), 7:12 (pp); 8, USA, Rau (Clendening, Czarnik), 9:07; USA, Arnold (Archibald, Etem), 10:21; USA, Miller (Arnold, Tynan), 10:51 (pp); 11, USA, Rau (Watson, Trouba), 16:01 (pp). Penalties: DEN, Christensen (holding), 6:24; DEN, Meyer (checking-to-the-head, misconduct), 10:34; DEN, Schultz (hooking), 15:09.

Third Period - Scoring: 12, DEN, Spelling (Bjorkstrand, N. Jensen), 4:20 (pp); 13, USA, Coyle (Zucker, Forbort), 11:04; 14, USA, Johns (unassisted), 5:56. Penalties: USA, Johns (kneeing), 4:05; DEN, Madsen (tripping), 4:40; USA, Archibald (diving), 4:40.

Shots by Period 1 2 3 Total
USA 15 18 11 44
DEN 10 6 8 24
Goaltenders (SH/SV) 1 2 3 Total
USA, Campbell 60:00 10-8 6-6 8-7 24-21
DEN, Feuk 30:21 15-12 12-8 -- 27-20
DEN, Jensen 29:39 -- 6-4 11-9 17-13

Power Play: USA 3-4; DEN 3-3
Penalties: USA 4-8; DEN 6-20
Officials: Referees - Vyacheslav Bulanov (RUS), Jryi Petteri Ronn (FIN); Linesmen - Kiel Murchison (CAN), Dmitry Sivov (RUS)
Attendance: 13,604

Team USA 2012 IIHF World Junior Championship Schedule Dec. 26 - Jan. 5 • Alberta, Canada

Date Opponent Location* Time (MST)
Mon., Dec. 26 Denmark Edmonton 6 p.m.
Wed., Dec. 28 Finland Edmonton 1:30 p.m.
Fri., Dec. 30 Czech Republic Edmonton 1:30 p.m.
Sat., Dec. 31 Canada Edmonton 6 p.m.
Mon., Jan. 2 Quarterfinals Calgary TBD
Tues., Jan. 3 Semifinals Calgary TBD
Thurs., Jan. 5 Bronze-Medal Game Calgary 1:30 p.m.
  Gold-Medal Game Calgary 6 p.m.

*All games in Edmonton will be played at Rexall Place. All games in Calgary will be played at Scotiabank Saddledome.
^Pre-tournament game