Right wing Brock Boeser scored three goals to help rally the United States to a 7-4 victory against Russia in Group A play of the Ivan Hlinka Memorial Cup on Tuesday at Alcaplast Arena in Breclav, Czech Republic.
The United States, which held a 46-25 advantage in shots, scored three goals in the third period to snap a 4-4 tie.
"This was an important match for us," U.S. coach Derek Plante said. "Our goal is to get the championship, so we needed a win today. This is a short tournament, so we have to keep getting better really quickly. Russia has a great team, but we had many power plays, which helped us a lot. In the last game against the Czech Republic [a 4-2 loss Monday], we were highly penalized and even though we played well, lost because of that. [On Tuesday], it was a big deal."
Each country connected for two power-play goals.
Russia, which has lost its opening two games of the tournament, took a 3-1 lead 18:38 into the first when Artyom Ivanyuzhenkov scored his second of the game. The United States pulled within 3-2 with just 0.4 seconds remaining in the first when left wing Dennis Yan chased down a loose puck in the Russian end and delivered a wrist shot past goalie Nikita Kolesnikov.
Boeser, who was named to NHL Central Scouting's Futures List in July as one of the top prospects eligible for the 2015 NHL Draft, evened the score at 1:27 into the second for the United States. Russia then took its third lead of the game 13:23 into the second when Kirill Kaprizov scored off a rebound past U.S. goalie Evan Sarthou. Boeser pulled the Americans even, 4-4, on a power-play goal at 15:14.
The United States outshot Russia 21-7 in the third and pulled away on goals by Grant Gabriele at 5:18, Boeser at 12:04 and Erik Foley at 17:18. Sarthou (Tri-City, WHL) made 21 saves, Yan had two goals and two assists and Thomas Novak (Waterloo, USHL) had three assists in the victory.
Novak was also named to Central Scouting's Futures List in July.
Boeser, who last summer helped the U.S. Under-17 select team to a first-place finish at the 2013 U-17 Five Nations tournament in Slovakia, had 23 goals and 50 points in 26 games as a junior at Burnsville High School in Minnesota last season. Committed to the University of Wisconsin for 2015-16, Boeser will join Novak as a member of the Waterloo Black Hawks in the United States Hockey League in 2014-15.
The United States will next face Finland on Wednesday at 9:30 a.m. ET in the final game of preliminary-round competition. Russia will play the Czech Republic at 1 p.m. ET.
Also in Group A action on Tuesday:
Czech Republic 4, Finland 3: Lukas Jasek scored a power-play goal 7:30 into the third period to snap a 3-3 tie before 1,060 fans at Alcaplast Arena. Jasek's goal came 32 seconds after Petrus Palmu had squared the game for Finland.
Radek Koblizek, Jakub Zboril and Jan Dufek also scored for Czech Republic, which will play Russia in the final game of preliminary-round action on Wednesday at 1 p.m. ET. Czech goaltender Daniel Vladar made 34 saves, including 15 in the first. Vladar, named player of the game for the Czech Republic, and Zboril were named to NHL Central Scouting's Futures List of top prospects eligible for the 2015 draft.
Finland, which received two goals from Palmu and a goal and an assist by Jesse Puljujarvi, will play the United States on Wednesday at 9:30 a.m. ET.