USA REMAINS UNDEFEATED IN 4-0 WIN AS GERMANY LOSES PLAYOFF POSITION

 

Samantha Nephew – BuffaloWorldJuniors.com / 12/30/2010

BUFFALO, N.Y- Team USA will head into the final day of preliminary games of the World Juniors as the top seed after defeating Germany 4-0 in front of a boisterous crowd at HSBC Arena.

Team USA dominated the ice in the first 20 minutes as they scored two quick unanswered goals and attacked German goaltender Niklas Treutle with 23 shots on goal. 

The first goal came from Charlie Coyle, a power play goal and his second goal of the tournament. Coyle also added an assist on USA’s fourth goal in the second period.

USA’s second goal was scored unassisted by Jerry D’Amigo, his first of the tournament, who capitalized on a Germany turnover less than two minutes after the first.

"We played a little more confident," said Jerry D'Amigo after tonight's win. "We're growing as a team, the chemistry is great.”

Nick Bjugstad, tied for first on USA for shots on goal with a total of nine coming into tonight’s game, held significant presence around the net, eagerly awaiting to collect on any rebounds. Bjugstad’s presence was felt as he assisted on Jon Merrill’s goal in the second period.

The German’s tried to hold the offensively driven American’s by delivering a stronger defensive unit. The team managed to drop the number of shots against and Team USA hit Treutle with just 15 in the second period. 

Although Germany was able to quiet the offense, Team USA could not be silenced and netted two more goals to end the second period leading 4-0.

Merrill scored the American’s third goal with a shot from the point that rocketed over Treutle’s shoulder from a pass by Bjugstad.

The team’s fourth goal came from Chris Kreider, his first of the tournament, and was assisted by Coyle and Kyle Palmieri. 

The American’s offensive lines were slightly marred in the third by a desperate Germany hockey club. They still managed to create a few formidable scoring chances, including a hard shot from the left circle from Bjugstad. 

A solemn looking Ernst Hofner looked on as his team was shut out and lost their fourth consecutive game in their final preliminary match-up of the World Juniors. "Germany, for years, has been the team that gets renegaded and battles to get back up. It's been close but we never finished last. We knew that we were outchanced against the U.S.,” said head coach Hofner.

Hofner added, "We felt that our team, given the situation, played a pretty good game. We're glad this game is finished with."

Treutle stood firm in net during the entire 60 minutes of hockey. He stopped 39 of 43 shots against a team that has dominated every match-up they’ve played since Sunday.

Jack Campbell, Team USA’s goaltender, started in his third consecutive game in this tournament and improved to a 1.46 goals-against average with tonight’s win. Campbell was relieved by Andy Iles with ten minutes remaining in the final period. 

Team USA will play against Switzerland in their last preliminary game of the tournament on Dec. 31 at HSBC Arena. If they beat Switzerland in regulation, they are guaranteed to take top seed in Group A.

Team Germany played in their last preliminary game tonight and their remaining schedule is to be determined.

STANDINGS FOR GROUP A – AS OF 12/30/2010

RANK

TEAM

GP

WINS

OTW

OTL

LOSS

PTS

1

USA

3

2

1

0

0

8

2

Finland

3

2

0

1

0

7

3

Switzerland

3

2

0

0

1

6

4

Slovakia

3

0

1

0

2

2

5

Germany

4

0

0

1

3

1