Johnny Gaudreau scored the only goal of the first period of the World Junior Championship quarterfinals to give the United States a 1-0 lead.
Gaudreau scored on an easy tap-in on a 5-on-3 penalty at the 11:45 mark of the first. The Czechs had taken back-to-back hooking penalties to go down by two skaters. Gaudream made them pay with his third goal in two games and the Americans' fifth power-play goal in the past four periods. The United States had four man-advantage goals in a 9-3 win against Slovakia on Monday.
The winner of this game plays Group B champion Canada in the semifinal on Thursday.
It was a big dream. [Messi] is probably the best athlete out there, so it's a big honor, for [Kuznetzov] as well. It's maybe a once in a lifetime opportunity to meet the best player in soccer right now. I'm a big Barcelona fan and Messi fan, so it's huge. You can take [Michael] Jordan, [Mark] Messier, [Wayne] Gretzky, those kinds of [people]. It's an honor to meet. It's nice to be in that position.
— Washington Capitals forward Alex Ovechkin told told Monumental Network after meeting soccer star Lionel Messi prior to Argentina's practice at Fed Ex Field in Landover, Md. on Friday