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MacLeod powers U.S. into semifinals at U-18 Worlds

Thursday, 04.24.2014 / 1:34 PM

By NHL.com Staff -  / 2014 NHL Draft blog

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2014 NHL Draft blog
MacLeod powers U.S. into semifinals at U-18 Worlds

Defenseman Johnathan MacLeod scored two power-play goals and Jack Eichel had a goal and two assists as the United States Under-18 National Team scored a 6-2 victory against Slovakia in the quarterfinal round of the 2014 IIHF World U-18 Championship at Lappeenranta Arena in Finland.

Eichel and MacLeod, No. 44 on NHL Central Scouting's final list of the top North American skaters eligible for the 2014 NHL Draft, scored goals in the opening 3:28 of the first period. The U.S. scored three times in the first and held Slovakia without a shot (20-0) to build a 3-0 advantage.

Eichel, who was named the player of the game and is on a four-game point streak (four goals, four assists), is eligible for the 2015 NHL Draft in Florida.

"It's definitely a high right now," Eichel told the IIHF website. "Our coaches do a great job preparing us for the games and I think that we've trained so hard for two years and we know what we have to do."

The Americans held a 43-12 advantage in shots and goalie Alexander Nedeljkovic, No. 4 on Central Scouting's final list of the top draft-eligible goalies in North America, made 10 saves to earn the win. Nedeljkovic has three wins, one loss and one shootout loss in the tournament with a 2.01 goals-against average and .893 save percentage.

The United States will play Sweden in the tournament semifinal round on Saturday. The gold medal match is slated for Sunday.

Alex Tuch, No. 12 on Central Scouting's final list, had two assists and Anders Bjork, Auston Matthews and Nolan Stevens also scored for the Americans. Matthews scored four minutes into the second to give the Americans a 4-0 advantage.

Sweden 10, Finland 0: William Nylander, No. 2 on NHL Central Scouting's list of the top European skaters eligible for the 2014 NHL Draft, had two goals and two assists in quarterfinal round action at Lappeenranta Arena.

Nylander scored 52 seconds into the first, when Sweden connected for three goals to open a 3-0 advantage. Goalie Linus Soderstrom, No. 3 on Central Scouting's final list of the top draft-eligible European goalies, made 24 saves.

Nylander has a team-leading six goals and 15 points in five games for his country. He also is tied for the team lead with a plus-10 rating.

William Lagesson, No. 18 on Central Scouting's final European list for skaters, and No. 90 Axel Holmstrom each scored two goals, and Marcus Pettersson, Kevin Elgestal, Rasmus Andersson and Kimi Rosdahl once in the victory. The Swedes will next fact the United States in the tournament semifinal round on Saturday.

Germany 3, Denmark 2: Stefan Loibl, No. 104 on NHL Central Scouting's final list of the top European skaters eligible for the 2014 draft, scored the game-winner 11:20 into the third period of the first game in the best-of-3 relegation round series. Germany, which can close out the series on Friday, rallied from a 2-1 deficit.