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U.S. Defeats Russia, 5-0, in WJAC Semifinals

By USA Hockey, 12/14/17, 2:45PM EST


Madden scores twice, Kucharski posts shutout

TRURO, N.S. - Tyler Madden (Albany, N.Y.) scored two goals and Jake Kucharski (Erie, Pa.) recorded a shutout as the 2017 U.S. Junior Select Team posted a 5-0 victory over Russia today to land a spot in Saturday's championship game here at the 2017 World Jr. A Challenge.

"Our guys played really well today and we earned everything we got," said head coach PK O'Handley. "We need to do everything to seize the opportunity ahead of us. I'm very proud of this group and their effort playing four games in four days."

Team USA (3-0-0-1/W-OTW-OTL-L) will play in Saturday's (Dec.16) championship game at 2 p.m. ET where it will face the Czech Republic or Canada West depending on the result of today's second semifinal. 

After killing off an early five-on-three Russian power play early in the game, the Americans turned on the pressure and were rewarded when Paul Cotter (Canton, Mich.) converted a one-time blast at the 12:08 mark of the first period. Jack Duggan (Pittsburgh, Pa.) and Blake McLaughlin (Grand Rapids, Minn.) assisted on the opening tally.

At the two-minute mark of the second frame, Madden finished off a bouncing puck from a Alex Steeves (Bedford, N.H.) shot, doubling the Team USA advantage entering the final stanza.

Madden struck again with just over six minutes remaining in the game when he banged home a rebound attempt through Russian goaltender Amir Miftakhof's pads and into the net.

A minute later, Nathan Smith (Hudson, Fla.) brought the score to 4-0 when he tallied a goal off a Graham Slaggert (South Bend, Ind.) pass.

Dugan capped the scoring in the final moments, splitting the defense then faking the goaltender to the ice with 50 seconds remaining in the game.

Team USA netminder Kucharski turned away all 14 shots for the shutout, the first of the tournament thus far for any goaltender.

NOTES:  Jack St. Ivany (Manhattan Beach, Calif.) was named U.S. Player of the Game...Team USA outshot Russia 37-21... No stream is available for Saturday's championship matchup...The World Junior A Challenge is in its twelfth year, and the U.S. is competing for the eleventh time … All U.S. players currently play in the United States Hockey League, the lone Tier I junior hockey league in the United States. For the full U.S. roster, click here … For complete coverage of Team USA at the World Junior A Challenge, click here… The 2017 field includes Canada East, Canada West, Czech Republic, Russia, Switzerland and the United States … Team USA has captured the World Junior A Challenge title seven times (2008-10, 2012-14, 2016).

2018 WJAC

World Junior A Challenge History


Date Opponent Round Time (Local/ET) Location Stream
Fri., Dec. 8 Canada East W, 7-0 7:30 p.m./6:30 p.m. RECC Arena
Truro, N.S.
Mon., Dec. 11 Czech Republic L, 2-4 3:30 p.m./2:30 p.m. RECC Arena
Truro, N.S.
Tues., Dec. 12 Canada West W, 2-1 7:30 p.m./6:30 p.m. RECC Arena
Truro, N.S.
Wed., Dec. 13 Switzerland
W, 3-1 3:30 p.m./2:30 p.m. RECC Arena
Truro, N.S.
Thurs., Dec.14 Russia
W, 5-0 3:30 p.m./2:30 p.m. RECC Arena
Truro, N.S.
Sat., Dec. 16 Canada West
Championship Game
L, 1-5 3p.m./2 p.m. RECC Arena
Truro, N.S.

World Junior A Challenge News