The United States National Junior Team received goals from five different players on the way to a workmanlike 5-1 victory over the Czech Republic in the opening game of preliminary-round action in the Group A field at the 2014 IIHF World Junior Championship on Thursday at the Malmo Isstadion in Malmo, Sweden.
The defending tournament champion, which received goals from captain Riley Barber, Will Butcher,Hudson Fasching, Jaccob Slavin and Vince Hinostroza, will next face Slovakia on Saturday at 7:30 a.m. ET (NHLN-US, NHL.com).
Goalie Jon Gillies (Providence College; Calgary Flames) made 23 saves in his first career start at the WJC.
"It says a lot about our team to have five different scorers," Gillies said. "We're clicking and all lines are going. It was a great team win."
Though he didn't need to be spectacular, Gillies made some key saves at key moments in the game. His shutout bid was denied by Czech defenseman Michal Plutnar, who ripped a shot home from between the circles with his team on the power-play 5:47 into the third period. By that time, the U.S. had already built a 4-0 lead.