It appears as though the U.S. National Under-18 Team is out to atone for last year's second-place finish in the Five Nations Tournament this year.
Leading scorer Rocco Grimaldi, a top 2011 Entry Draft hopeful, scored three goals and added one assist and Reid Boucher chipped in with three assists to lead Team USA to a 6-2 victory over Sweden in Wednesday's opener at the Novy Bydzov Arena in Hradec Kralove, Czech Republic.
Team USA had won the Five Nations Tournament three straight years before placing second to Russia during the 2010 Six Nations Cup. The tournament was named 'Six Nations' last year.
"Everyone contributed to this win and it was a complete team effort," said USA coach Ron Rolston. "It was an excellent start to a very difficult tournament."
Grimaldi, rated 25th among North American skaters by NHL Central Scouting, scored once in the second and twice in the third en route to earning player of the game honors. Goalie John Gibson, the No. 1-rated North American goalie on the board for the 2011 Draft, earned the victory for the Americans.
Blake Pietila (committed to Michigan Tech), Adam Reid (Northeastern) and J.T. Miller (North Dakota) also hit for Team USA. Miller, rated 13th among North American skaters, scored from the slot 8:44 into the second to snap a 2-2 tie.
Team USA will face Russia on Thursday at Hradec Kralove Arena before battling Czech Republic on Friday and, finally, Finland on Sunday.