CALGARY -- The U.S. National Junior Team has opened a 4-0 lead on Latvia in the opening period of the relegation round at the 2012 World Junior Championship at Scotabank Saddledome.
Austin Watson recorded a natural hat trick and Jason Zucker also connected for the U.S. in the first. A victory and the United States will avoid being relegated. U.S. starting goalie Jack Campbell made nine saves in the opening period.
This year, the 10th-place team from the WJC will be relegated to Division I in 2013 and will be replaced by Germany, winner of the Division 1 crown earlier last month. Prior to Tuesday's matchup, the U.S. and Latvia had only met once before in WJC play -- a 12-1 victory by the Americans on Dec. 29, 2009, in Saskatoon, Sask.