HELSINKI, Finland — Eleven players contributed points as the U.S. National Junior Team earned a 10-1 victory here tonight over Switzerland in its third of four preliminary round games at the 2016 International Ice Hockey Federation World Junior Championship in Helsinki, Finland. With the win, Team USA secured a spot in the tournament quarterfinals, which will take place Jan. 2.
The U.S. will finish play in the preliminary round tomorrow (Dec. 31) at 9 a.m. ET against Denmark with live television coverage in the U.S. on NHL Network.
"I thought it was our best game of the tournament overall," said Ron Wilson, head coach of the 2016 U.S. National Junior Team. "We did a lot of good things and had contributions from everyone, which is certainly nice to see."
Team USA had a 6-0 lead after the opening period with goals from six different players. Christian Dvorak (Palos, Ill./London Knights) converted on a blocked shot at 7:23 and one minute later, Auston Matthews (Scottsdale, Ariz./ZSC Lions) batted in a rebound from an attempt by Matthew Tkachuk (St. Louis, Mo./London Knights).
Less than two minutes later, Brandon Carlo (Colorado Springs, Colo./Tri-City Americans) beat Switzerland goaltender Joren Van Pottelberghe glove-side with a wrist shot from the point. At 12:59 during a four-on-four, Zach Werenski (Grosse Pointe Woods, Mich./University of Michigan) snapped a quick-release shot into the lower right corner of Switzerland’s net during a U.S. rush down the ice.
With 4:50 remaining in the opening period, Tkachuk converted on a drop pass from Matthews before Nick Schmaltz (Verona, Wis./University of North Dakota) tallied a goal to make it 6-0 heading into the middle stanza.
Switzerland got on the board 1:26 into the second period, but the U.S. immediately responded when Tkachuk once again connected with a pass from Matthews for his second goal of the game.
Matthews added his second tally by one timing a feed from Schmaltz at 8:09. About one minute after that, Colin White (Hanover, Mass./Boston College) scored a shorthanded marker and Ryan Donato (Scituate, Mass./Harvard University) found the back of the net as the U.S. penalty kill expired to account for the 10-1 final.
Midway through the second period, Brandon Halverson (Traverse City, Mich./Sault Ste. Marie Greyhounds) took the net in relief of Alex Nedeljkovic (Parma, Ohio/Niagara IceDogs). Nedeljkovic finished with 7 saves on 8 shots, while Halverson turned away all 20 Swiss shots faced.
NOTES: Five players had three or more points in the game, led by Matthews with four (2-2--4) and Tkachuk (2-1--3), Dvorak (1-2--3), White (1-2--3) and Werenski (1-2--3) each with three ... Matthews was named the U.S. Player of the Game ... The U.S. outshot Switzerland, 33-28 ... For the complete box score, click here ... The U.S. is 2-0-0-1 (W-OTW-OTL-L) at the 2016 IIHF World Junior Championship … The U.S. can finish from second to fourth in Group A depending upon how tomorrow's games finish. If the U.S. defeats Denmark in regulation, it will finish second in Group A and play its quarterfinal game on Jan. 2 against the third-place team in Group B ... Zach Werenski has five points in the 2016 IIHF World Junior Championship to lead all defensemen ... Auston Matthews is tied for the tournament lead in goals with three ... 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 ... The U.S. is competing in a group with Canada, Denmark, Sweden and Switzerland … 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.
|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
|Helsinki Ice Hall||W, 7-0||Nick Schmaltz|
|Mon., Jan. 4||Russia
|Hartwall Arena||L, 1-2||Christian Dvorak|
|Tues. , Jan. 5||Sweden
Bronze Medal Game
|Hartwall Arena||W, 8-3||Anders Bjork|