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Team USA Blanks Czech Republic, 6-0

By USAHockey.com, 01/08/16, 4:00PM MST

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Five Players Score for U.S., Larcom Posts Shutout

ST. CATHARINES, Ont. — Five different U.S. players scored and Beth Larcom (Middletown, R.I./Mass Spitfires) earned a shutout as the U.S. Women’s National Under-18 Team defeated the Czech Republic, 6-0, here tonight to open play at the 2016 International Ice Hockey Federation Under-18 Women’s World Championship.

"We picked up the tempo and pushed the pace as the game moved on," said Joel Johnson, head coach of the U.S. Women's National Under-18 Team. "I was happy with our offense and look to improve on some things as the tournament moves along."

Grace Zumwinkle (Excelsior, Minn./Breck High School) opened the scoring for the U.S. 4:31 into the first period when she backhanded in a rebound from Makayla Langei’s (East Grand Forks, Minn./Shattuck St. Mary’s) shot from the point.

Team USA doubled the lead with 1:35 to play in the opening period after Taylor Heise (Lake City, Minn./Red Wing High School) fired a wrist shot from the right circle into the far corner of the net.

At 6:49 of the second stanza, Emily Oden (Edina, Minn./Edina High School) walked in shorthanded and beat Czech Republic goaltender Katerina Zechovska high glove side. Minutes later, Madeline Wethington (Edina, Minn./Blake High School) rang a rocket off the post to nearly add another tally for the U.S.

With less than five minutes to play in the final period, Team USA added three goals within a :57 span, including two from Natalie Snodgrass (Eagan, Minn./Eastview High School) and one from Catherine Skaja (New Prauge, Minn./New Prauge High School), to account for the 6-0 final.

The U.S. will continue competition at the 2016 IIHF Women’s Under-18 World Championship when it takes on Russia in a preliminary round matchup at 4 p.m. ET tomorrow (Saturday). 

NOTES: Grace Zumwinkle was named the U.S. Player of the Game ... The U.S. is 1-0-0-0 (W-OTW-OTL-L) at this year’s IIHF Under-18 Women’s World Championship … Team USA outshot Czech Republic, 35-7. For complete game statistics, click here … The U.S. is defending its gold-medal finish at last year’s IIHF Women’s Under-18 World Championship. The U.S. has played in the gold medal game in all eight of the previous events, capturing the event’s top prize four times (2008, 2009, 2011, 2015) … Team USA is competing in Group A with Canada, Czech Republic and Russia … Live streaming of the tournament is provided by FASTHockey.com… For more information on the 2016 U.S. Women’s National Under-18 Team, including a full roster, click here.

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Schedule for U18 WWC

DATE OPPONENT RESULT U.S. PLAYER OF THE GAME
Fri., Jan. 8 Czech Republic W, 6-0 Grace Zumwinkle
Sat., Jan. 9 Russia W, 6-0 Alex Woken
Mon., Jan. 11 Canada W, 4-1 Rebecca Gilmore
Thurs., Jan. 14 Sweden (Semifinal) W, 4-0 Natalie Heising
Fri., Jan. 15 Canada (Gold Medal Game) W, 3-2 OT Natalie Snodgrass