Two of the U.S. team's younger players came through the biggest at the IIHF World Under-18 Championships in Belarus on Wednesday. Austin Czarnik had a pair of goals and Adam Clendening had a goal and 2 assists as the U.S. rebounded from an opening-day loss with a 5-1 win against Switzerland.
Gregory Hoffman scored in the first period for Switzerland, but Czarnik answered 27 seconds later to tie it, then scored the game-winning 4:01 into the second. Billy Arnold (No. 36) and Jason Zucker (51) also scored for the U.S. Arnold (No. 36) and Zucker (No. 51) are highly regarded by NHL Central Scouting in its final ranking of North American skaters for the 2010 Entry Draft.
"This was definitely one of our better efforts and the team showed a lot of character after going down a goal and coming right back to score," U.S. coach Kurt Kleinendorst told USA Hockey's Web site. "We're going to soldier on through this tournament. I think everyone will enjoy the win today until our heads hit the pillow, but now we turn our focus to our game against Canada on Friday."
Goalie Jack Campbell was better, as Central Scouting's No. 2-rated goaltender stopped 22 of 23 shots.
In other action Wednesday, Russia won its second straight game in easy fashion. Team captain Evgeny Kuznetsov, Central Scouting's third-ranked European skater prospect, had a hat trick, as did Vladimir Namestnikov in a 9-0 rout of Latvia.
Martin Frk had a goal and a pair of assists as the Czech Republic held off Slovakia 4-3. The Czechs led 3-0 going into the third period, but Slovakia scored twice in a 2:10 span to make it close.
In a penalty-marred game, Sweden routed host Belarus, 9-0, behind 2-goal, 2-assist games from captain Johan Larsson and Ludvig Rensfeldt. Larsson had a hat trick in Tuesday's 4-2 win against the U.S. Sweden outshot Belarus 46-8.
Contact Adam Kimelman at firstname.lastname@example.org